Oct 15 1996 - JEPI Press Release

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 Hazel Kochocki			     Andrew Lloyd & Associates
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 		                               Sylvie Baranger
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 Aaron Feigin
 Fleishman Hilliard
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 World Wide Web Consortium and CommerceNet Announce Major Step Toward
 Resolving Industry-wide Internet Payment Challenge
 Completed JEPI Specifications Provide Standard Way for Web Browsers
 and Servers to Negotiate Payment Transactions Via the Internet
 CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, USA -- October 15, 1996 -- The World Wide
 Web Consortium (W3C) and CommerceNet today announced that the
 specifications for Joint Electronic Payments Initiative or JEPI has
 been completed and that several run-time scenarios are available. JEPI
 provides a universal payment platform that will allow merchants and
 consumers to transact business over the Internet using many different
 forms of payment.
 The W3C and CommerceNet have been developing the JEPI specifications
 with industry leaders - including Microsoft, IBM, OpenMarket, GC Tech,
 CyberCash, Xerox, British Telecommunications and Digital - who are
 implementing the Internet payment negotiation protocol in their
 "One of the major ingredients needed for Web commerce is the ability
 for different payment instruments and protocols to exchange
 information.  We are enthusiastic about JEPI because it effectively
 addresses this need," said Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Web
 Consortium and creator of the World Wide Web.  "Together with
 CommerceNet, we are committed to accelerating the feasibility and ease
 of electronic commerce."
 "Interoperability of payment systems and security is essential to the
 ability to create open, digital marketplaces on the Internet," said
 Dr. J Tannenbaum, Chairman and CEO of CommerceNet.
 According to Daniel Dardailler, W3C, Project Manager for JEPI, since
 not all merchants accept all forms of payment and transport
 mechanisms, the Internet needs a standard way through which
 applications can negotiate the appropriate payment methods.  Both
 CommerceNet and the W3C are working diligently to simplify the
 technical side of negotiations payment, creating negotiation and
 linkage mechanisms that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate a
 wide range of payment instruments, data flows, transport mechanisms,
 and external hardware interfaces. 
 "Both CommerceNet and the W3C are dedicated to working together on the
 development and adoption of key technology components needed to
 transform the Internet into a worldwide electronic commerce
 infrastructure," said Randall Whiting, Vice President, General Manager
 of electronic commerce at CommerceNet "This project is exciting and
 critically important for CommerceNet because it starts to overcome a
 substantial barrier to the development of digital markets on the Net."
 JEPI is a standard mechanism for web clients and servers to negotiate
 payment instrument, protocol, and transport between one another.  JEPI
 consists of two parts: an extension layer that "sits" on top of http
 known as - Protocol Extensions Protocol (PEP), which was submitted to
 IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) standards body earlier this
 summer; and Universal Payment Preamble (UPP), the negotiations
 protocol that identifies appropriate payment methodology.  These
 protocols make payment negotiations automatic for end users, happening
 at the moment of purchase based on configurations within the browser.
 For more information on JEPI, please see the JEPI Web page on the W3C
 site at http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Payments.
 World Wide Web Consortium 
 The W3C was created to develop common standards for the evolution of
 the World Wide Web. It is an industry consortium jointly run by the
 MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) in the USA; the National
 Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) in
 France responsible for Europe; and Keio University in Japan
 responsible for Asia. Services provided by the Consortium include: a
 repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and
 users; reference code implementations to embody and promote standards;
 and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of
 new technology. To date over 150 organizations are Members of the
 with headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., is a unique business
 development and research organization recognized as an industry leader
 working to transform the Internet into a global electronic
 marketplace. Launched in April 1994, the Silicon Valley-based
 organization provides a variety of electronic commerce -oriented
 business and technology services for over 175 members worldwide,
 including leading banks, telecommunications companies, Internet
 service providers, online services, computer manufacturers, software
 providers and end-users.  More information about CommerceNet can be
 obtained by calling (415) 617-8790, sending e-mail to
 info@commerce.net, or visiting CommerceNet's Internet site at
 MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
 Now in its third decade, MIT LCS is dedicated to the invention,
 development and understanding of information technologies expected to
 drive substantial technical and socio-economic change. The LCS has
 helped information technology grow from a mere curiosity to 10 percent
 of the industrial world's economies by its pioneering efforts in
 interactive computing, computer networking, distributed systems and
 public key cryptography. LCS members and alumni have started some
 thirty companies and have pioneered the Nubus, the X-Window System,
 the RSA algorithm, the Ethernet and spreadsheets.
 Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique
 (INRIA), the French National Institute for Research in Computer
 Science and Automation, is a public-sector scientific institute
 charged with conducting both fundamental and applied research, and
 with transferring research results to industry. INRIA is made up of
 five Research Units located at Rocquencourt (near Paris), Rennes,
 Sophia Antipolis, Nancy and Grenoble.  Areas of current research
 include information processing, advanced high speed networking,
 structured documents, and scientific computation.
 Keio University
 Keio University is one of Japan's foremost computer science research
 centers and universities.  It is one of the oldest private
 universities in Japan, and has five major campuses around Tokyo.  Keio
 University has been promoting joint research projects in cooperation
 with industry, government and international organizations, and is now
 becoming one of the research leaders for the network and digital media
 Further information on the World Wide Web Consortium is available via
 the Web at (http://www.w3.org/).
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