E-Commerce Is Killer App for Wireless, Says VeriSign CEO

    Does wireless technology mean the death of the ATM?

    In a recent interview with CEO Live.com, VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq:VRSN) President and Chief Executive Officer Stratton Sclavos predicted that common e-commerce transactions will be among the primary applications of wireless Internet technology.

    Stratton said: "You and I will be able to use our phones to access bank accounts, transfer funds, sign brokerage trades ... E-commerce is, in fact, the killer set of applications for wireless devices ... It's not very compelling to browse on a handset, but it certainly is to buy a plane or train ticket or transfer funds."

    Through companies such as Motorola (NYSE:MOT) and BellSouth (NYSE:BLS), Stratton said, these kinds of applications will be available in late 2000 and early 2001.

    This technology is already widespread in Europe and Asia. Stratton commented on the U.S. lag.

    "There's more ability in those countries to have a mandated standard ... In the U.S., there's more of the free-market system, which makes it very difficult to get a single group of users with interoperable services," Stratton stated.

    VeriSign's digital signature technology helps make these transactions secure.

    Stratton emphasized that its prominence in both the B-to-C and B-to-B markets lends it an advantage against traditional competitors like Entrust (Nasdaq:ENTU) and Baltimore Technologies (Nasdaq:BALT) and larger players like GTE (NYSE:GTE) and IBM (NYSE:IBM), which are also staking claims in the digital signature/certificate arena.

    VeriSign's history with Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT), Cisco (Nasdaq:CSCO) and Netscape (NYSE:AOL) also helps it remain competitive, Stratton stated.

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