Camtech ushers CBA through its gateway

Camtech ushers CBA through its gateway

With three of Australia's big-four banks now on its books, Adelaide University's Camtech secure online transaction operation is broadening its horizons and is even contemplating an American stock exchange listing.

In securing the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) as a client last week, Camtech now provides the online security and authentication gateways for all but ANZ (with which it is holding talks) amongst the big-four banks.

The next move could well be to take its leading-edge solutions to the world, according to Bruce Linn, Camtech's chief executive officer.

"NASDAQ is hungry for this kind of technology so we would be foolish not to consider taking on some investment partners to raise capital and floating," Linn said.

"At this stage it is little more than a possibility and we definitely need help but we have been talking to some people and I can't rule it out as an option."

Camtech's e-commerce security and authentication solution is one that complements and includes resellers who have customers looking at trading on the Internet, according to Linn.

"We don't see ourselves as direct marketers," Linn said of how resellers can benefit from the product.

"We use a channel model and are looking for ISPs and integraters that are supplying and servicing e-commerce solutions to build our technology into the packages they are selling. There is a good margin in it for them," he added.

Linn said Camtech held about 60 per cent of the local secure online transaction gateways market before the CBA deal. He is expecting that to grow to as much as 70-75 per cent in the short-to-medium term but concedes they will lose that near-monopoly as the number of businesses trading online accelerates.

"The CBA was very rigorous in its assessment and testing of our solution, so we are pleased they have gone with it," Linn said.

"In one fell swoop we have secured our biggest ever deal and a very firm endorsement of the technology we have developed."

Camtech started as a university workshop and reseller providing UNIX and other mainframe technology training and consulting services. In 1994 it began operating an ISP division which went on to become South Australia's largest before being acquired by OzEmail last year.

Focus then shifted to the online security and authentication market which most agree is an emerging giant in the race for Internet dollars. Camtech currently employs over 100 staff and will turnover in excess of $16 million this financial year with all profits at this stage being reinvested into the business, Linn said.

Having already secured a very dominant stronghold in the Australian market means Camtech are in a strong position to advance locally and globally.

It has one other distinguishing feature highly unusual for an Internet company, according to Linn. "We are trading profitably," he said.

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