The Secure Electronic Transaction LLC (SETCo) consortium says Microsoft has submitted its electronic wallet for compliance testing with the SET 1.0 standard, a move that may add momentum to the fledging secure online transaction protocol.
Microsoft Wallet software for PCs works with the Windows operating system and supports the software giant's Internet Explorer brower as well as other Web browsers. The software performs merchant authentication, initiation of secure payments and stores cardholder's credit/debit or charge card information.
Microsoft's support will add some momentum in making the SET protocol an industry standard, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to get SET on the map, said Jim Balderston, an industry analyst with Zona Research in Redwood City, California.
"Microsoft will add momentum to the adoption rate of SET transactions because it is a large, substantial player in the desktop and server markets," said Balderston. However, it will probably not be enough to push SET over the resistance curve at this time, he added.
While SET looks to be the online security protocol of the future, several problems, including cost and difficulties in implementing the technology have slowed its adoption.
In addition to those obstacles, Balderston said that concern about slowing system performance has also stalled the progress of SET.
"SET is still struggling to really deliver on the promise it enunciated one-and-a-half to two years ago," Balderston said. SET was positioned as the electronic-commerce security standard with big backers -- Visa International Iand MasterCard International -- and promised it to be the end all and be all in Internet security, he said. While SET has made some progress in reaching its goals, it has not been at the pace originally promised.
The SETCo consortium includes about 20 vendors that create wallets, merchant payment software, payment gateways or certificate servers.