Banks begin testing for Project Eleanor

Banks begin testing for Project Eleanor

Identrus has taken over bank-backed B2B payments venture Project Eleanor and instigated pilot programmes with a first wave of financial institution sponsors across North America, Europe and Asia.

Identrus has been testing an initial reference application since August in concert with Sun Microsystems and its iPlanet e-Commerce Solutions software division. The companies helped develop the open Eleanor payments specification and pilot.

Identrus - a bank-backed project to develop a global trust model for corporate correspondence over insecure networks - has assumed ownership of Eleanor, which originally was an independent joint venture of the financial institutions.

Financial institutions in the first wave of Eleanor pilots are ABN Amro, HypoVereinsbank, Sanwa Bank/UFJ and Wells Fargo. The remaining eleven investors include Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Barclays Bank, BNP Paribas, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Banco Santander Central Hispano, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, Industrial Bank of Japan, National Australia Bank Limited, and Royal Bank of Scotland/Natwest.

A second wave of participant testing will be initiated during the first half of 2002, with the service going into full production mid-year 2002.

Jane Hennessy, senior vice president at Wells Fargo & Company, says: "Identrus-secured payments through Eleanor are designed to close the gap in B2B e-commerce activities. The backing of Identrus global financial institutions is establishing Project Eleanor as the emerging e-payment standard the next stage of online payments."

Project Eleanor provides companies with Web-based specifications to initiate B2B payments linking into existing bank systems. Current payment methods entail buyers "pushing' payments to the sellers, leaving sellers waiting for payment to arrive via an off-line process with a mountain of paperwork. With Eleanor, the seller has immediate, online certainty of payments and possesses all of the pertinent information electronically, says Identrus.

Elizabeth Halaki, Identrus senior vice president of marketing and business development, states: "Identrus and Eleanor enable financial institutions and their corporate customers to integrate trusted relationships with payment services over the Internet."

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