Skip to main content

New IBM Digital Wallet Speeds Checkout for Online Shoppers

MasterCard International and IBM Offer First ECML-Compliant, Consumer Wallets To MasterCard's Member Banks

CHICAGO - 14 Sep 1999: --IBM today announced the availability of a new, standards-based version of its Consumer Wallet* software that enables Web shoppers to make on-line purchases faster and with greater ease.

The IBM Consumer Wallet allows Web shoppers to enter their credit card information once and store it securely in an icon -- or "wallet" -- for all future shopping. With the 'one-click' purchasing feature, digital wallets eliminate the need for repeated entering of such information, decreasing the likelihood of abandoned shopping carts by frustrated shoppers.

A report from Jupiter Communications on digital wallets found that 27 percent of online buyers abandon orders before check-out due to the hassle of filling out forms, thus decreasing the number of completed transactions at merchant sites.

Available in time for the holiday shopping season, the IBM Consumer Wallet is available to consumers from financial institutions. MasterCard International is collaborating with IBM to distribute the new version of the Consumer Wallet by offering it through a special program to its member banks.

The IBM Consumer Wallet Version 2.1 is based on universal standards for data collection. It uses ECML (Electronic Commerce Markup Language), universal standards for merchant field data collection that were announced in June by e-commerce leaders America Online, American Express, Compaq, CyberCash, IBM, MasterCard, Microsoft, SETCo, Sun Microsystems, Transactor Networks, Trintech, and Visa USA.

ECML is a simple, open standard that permits any merchant to quickly accept input from any ECML-enabled wallet. It offers wallet providers the ability to quickly "find" the areas of the form needing input and automatically transfer the appropriate data at computer speed -- requiring only a single "autofill" selection by the IBM Consumer Wallet user.

"As a leader in e-commerce payments software, IBM is pleased to introduce a product that will transform shopping online for businesses and consumers," said Ed Kilroy, general manager, electronic commerce, IBM Software Solutions. "Today, consumers are required to fill out extensive forms for a purchase, which typically takes several minutes, resulting in many abandoned purchases. Through the Wallet's 'one-click' purchasing feature, consumers can input data once and automatically fill in the merchant's form at the point of purchase on a merchant's site, easily and securely. The alliance with MasterCard marks the first time an ECML-compliant wallet is so widely available to both merchants and consumers."

The companies anticipate that the ability of banks to issue an unlimited number of Wallets to their customers will increase Internet shopping. A new International Data Corp. report shows 142.2 million surfers were online in 1998 and that by 2003, the number will grow to upward of half a billion surfers. Global e-commerce last year totaled $50 billion. IDC is predicting it to explode to $1.3 trillion by 2003. That's 26 times 1998 spending levels, leaving plenty of opportunity in a fast-growing global e-commerce market.

"The alliance with IBM is designed to address MasterCard member needs," said Art Kranzley, senior vice president, Electronic Commerce and Emerging Technology, MasterCard. "Through a state-of-the-art application, the IBM PC-based Wallet allows unique customization by individual banks to market and brand its products through banner ads on the Wallet. It can be implemented easily within weeks and it offers the capability to distribute unlimited copies to cardholders. The IBM Wallet's convenience, combined with its SSL and SET-enabled functions, reflects MasterCard's leadership in providing members with the most flexible and secure e-commerce solutions available."

MasterCard is making its own branded version of the Consumer Wallet available to its member banks. In addition, the MasterCard/IBM agreement will enable MasterCard member banks to obtain their own wallet through a special alliance program. MasterCard will also enable the upgrade of existing SET (Secure Electronic TransactionTM) wallets that are currently installed.

Bank Offerings
The IBM Consumer Wallet offers extensive branding opportunities and operational customization. The offering enables banks to project their brand image and special offers directly onto the desktops of cardholders to influence how those cardholders use their card accounts. They also allow banks to leverage each account into Internet purchasing, where the use of credit averages 50-55% higher than in the physical world.

Bank-relevant capabilities include the ability to create and customize banner ads within the wallet for the desktop; to link URLs; to establish an unprecedented Internet consumer relationship; and to integrate multilevel security, including SET with or without a certificate.

Consumer Offerings
The Wallet can expedite on-line purchasing significantly depending on how it is used and the characteristics of the merchant's site:

-- With the "drag and drop" function, users can realize an improvement in purchasing time over manually filling out the form by typing in the data

-- On an ECML-enabled site (check http://www.ecml.org for site listings), users making use of the auto-fill function can save time by not having to fill out the traditionally lengthy forms every time for a purchase

-- For ECML/SET sites, users may save additional time and increased security as well as combine the extra benefits of SET such as increased security and digital receipts that can be exported to their PFMs (personal finance managers software).

Incorporating the latest in user convenience, privacy and security, the Wallet employs ProBuyer Technology ** developed by IBM. This ProBuyer Technology includes a complete, simplified interface that enables a consumer to purchase at any merchant site, automatically using the highest level of security offered by that merchant. It also provides users with the ability to complete most merchant forms with a function that utilizes a simple "drag & drop" interface that will leverage ECML when available.

The ProBuyer Technology is compatible with existing security standards, including SSL and SET. At the merchant sites that offer different security systems, the new technology will notify the merchant "behind the scenes" that the consumer has a SET-compatible wallet and, when applicable, that the consumer account is certified for full SET use. The entire transaction takes place with a branded application that places the bank's image in front of the consumer at every purchase.

IBM Consumer Wallet is available through participating distributors worldwide in 24 languages. The MasterCard wallet will be available for download from www.mastercard.com. In addition, the individually branded wallets may be distributed via CD-ROM from participating banks directly to their customers as a cornerstone to their emerging Internet strategies.

(Note: Pricing for the IBM Consumer Wallet is based on a flat cost, unlimited distribution license that varies with customer choices and is not available for disclosure at this time.)
* Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
** All other trademarks are owned by the respective company.

MasterCard International
MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. With 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader in quality and innovation. Nearly 700 million MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and Mondex cards are accepted at more than 16.2 million locations worldwide. In 1998, gross dollar volume exceeded $650 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http://www.mastercard.com.

IBM Corporation
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM Software home page at http://www.software.ibm.com

# # #

Contact(s) information

Kelli Gail
IBM
212-745-3350
kelliga@us.ibm.com

Related XML feeds
Topics XML feeds
Business partners
Business partner information including strategic alliances
Services and solutions
Software
Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source