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iPlanet Trustbase Payment Services Product Represents Major Breakthrough in B2B Electronic Banking; First Product to Meet Influential Identrus E-Payment Standard


Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced the immediate availability of a new software application that dramatically streamlines the electronic transaction process, allowing financial institutions to provide online payment services to their corporate customers. Five of the world's leading banks have tested iPlanet Trustbase Payment Services from Sun, the industry's first product to meet the influential Identrus "Project Eleanor" payment initiation specification.

iPlanet Trustbase Payment Services represents a major milestone in extending the Sun Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) - an open, integratable software platform designed to enable the infrastructure required for services on demand - to banking customers. The availability of the software is a turning point for banks interested in providing business to business electronic banking services to corporate customers.

More Services for Banks, More Convenience for Customers
iPlanet Trustbase Payment Services links a customer's identity to back-end applications through the iPlanet Trustbase Transaction Manager, and implements the appropriate financial method of payment. For example, if a bank's corporate customer wishes to trade with another organization, the customer might contact the organization via the Web using a smart card issued through their bank. The smart card contains a digital certificate with which to identify the customer and the financial institution. Behind the scenes, the iPlanet Trustbase Payment Services software, using the Identrus system and information from the smart card, will work at the bank's site to link the customer to the appropriate account and verify identity. The iPlanet software will make arrangements for payment based on conditions that both trading parties have specified using the payment specification. The application will keep a transaction history, and issue a payment instruction, all within seconds of the customer's initial request and residing seamlessly at the bank's site. The new version 3.0 of Trustbase Transaction Manager will be available in November.

"Sun is helping to drive deployment for the Identrus system by integrating our trust infrastructure and now our payment initiation specification into its products," said Guy Tallent, president and CEO of Identrus LLC. "Applications such as trusted e-payments are critical for the continued evolution of B2B e-commerce, and we are delighted that iPlanet recognizes this and is as committed as we are to the success of Project Eleanor."

"Much of the groundwork for introducing services that enable banks to offer online payment initiation to their corporate customers has been established with user authentication infrastructure and the development of general B2B messaging standards," says David Medeiros, Director of Research for Global Payments with TowerGroup, a Financial Services focused analyst firm. "Banks had been constrained from offering these services due in part to the lack of a common industry standard and platform for Web-based payment initiation. For online B2B transactions, iPlanet Trustbase Payment Services and Identrus represent the critical first step in making such a capability a reality."

Sun and Identrus Fill Standards Deficit
Project Eleanor was formed by Identrus to create an e-payment standard. More than 50 global member financial institutions are participants in the Identrus global e-commerce trust system, a system that includes banks such as Wells Fargo, Hypo Vereinsbank and ABN Amro. The Identrus trust system provides an identity validation and certification framework that enables secure B2B e-commerce worldwide.

Last September, the iPlanet group began working with the participating banks in Project Eleanor to define technology standards for payments for the banks using the Identrus system. Both companies feel the development of the application is the logical next step in the adoption of secure transactions.

"Sun has made a serious investment in the financial services industry by working in tandem with the world's leading banks to learn first-hand what both they and their customers need to be successful in B2B online banking," said Wes Wasson, vice president of product marketing for the iPlanet group at Sun. "Today we are delivering expanded services to the banking industry when our competitors are still making promises. This could be the vehicle to launch the financial services industry into delivering services on demand."

Pricing and Availability
iPlanet Trustbase Payment Services from Sun is available immediately. Special pricing is offered for member banks of Project Eleanor.

About Sun ONE
Sun ONE, the integration of Sun's award-winning stack of software products, is Sun's vision, platform, product and expertise that enables the development and delivery of services on demand. Through its open, integratable architecture, Sun ONE extends current enterprise systems to help reduce costs and complexity while improving organizations' return on assets. Sun ONE represents a significant initiative in Sun's evolution to providing an open end-to-end architecture building on the company's offerings across systems and development environments. Further information is available at www.sun.com/sunone.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision - The Network Is The Computer[tm] - has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to take their businesses to the nth. Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun.com.

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Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo and iPlanet are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc., in the United States and other countries. Netscape and the Netscape N logo are registered trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation in the United States and other countries. Other Netscape logos, product names, and service names are also trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation, which may be registered in other countries.

Press Contacts:
Jennifer Doettling
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
408-276-5721
jennifer.doettling@sun.com

Amy Raimundo
KVO Public Relations
503-221-2351
amy_raimundo@kvo.com

Or:

Kay Dunican/Karen Daniell
Brodeur Worldwide
t: 01753 790700
kdunican/kdaniell@brodeur.com


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