The difficulty with e-commerce's pioneer status is it encourages an element of security paranoia.
Smartcard developer Keycorp recently acquired Canadian Internet payment company Nobil Information Technology in an effort to exploit this fear.
The deal, worth $US5.5million, will be paid in cash and Keycorp shares, with an initial deposit of $250,000 and 321,000 shares.
The transaction is conditional upon Nobil meeting certain revenue and profit criteria over the next three years.
However, Ian Stead, Keycorp's corporate communications manager, is confident the deal will go through as it is based on a long term and complimentary relationship.
"Whilst purchasing another Canadian company, Tillsmith, in 1997, we became aware of Nobil and the work they were doing on developing a Internet payment gateway. We thought it was a leading edge solution that was both simple and elegant so in 1998 we bought a 20 per cent equity in the company," Stead explained.
Nobil is confident of its role in the security space as its Internet Gateway solution forms the basis of its existing partnership with Keycorp, which bought the final 80 per cent of Nobil.
"This payment method ensures e-commerce transactions are both secure and private," claims Stead, explaining that consumers purchasing goods online using a credit card are automatically connected to a bank payment page, hosted on the Nobil gateway.
The customers details are encrypted and the bank validates and authenticates them. The transaction is then authorised by the bank and the customer continues with the purchase.