NCipher and Eiger Systems first to be approved by Bacs for automated submissions


nCipher plc (LSE: NCH), a leading provider of IT cryptographic security and Eiger Systems, Europe's leading developer of validation and payment solutions for automated banking and e-commerce, today announce that EigerPAY Gateway and nCipher's nShield hardware security module is the first combined solution to be approved by BACS for use with BACSTEL-IP allowing high volume users and bureaux to take advantage of the automated submission service.

BACSTEL-IP is the new high-speed online payment and collection service from BACS that uses an advanced PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) to meet the growing demand for more secure and efficient payment services, including payroll, Direct Credit and Direct Debit collections. BACS is currently used by over 50,000 UK companies, processes more than 3.7 billion financial transactions a year and on a peak day will handle some 60 million payments. All BACS clients will migrate to BACSTEL-IP by December 2005 and many of these users are already reaping the benefits of higher speed connections, faster transaction confirmation and reduced operating costs.

To ensure that the overall security of BACSTEL-IP is maintained at the highest level, only solutions that pass the rigorous testing and approval procedures set by BACS Payment Schemes are able to gain access to the BACSTEL-IP service network. BACS users have the choice of submitting transactions manually or through automated procedures, which are particularly important for BACS' highest volume clients. Organisations wishing to take advantage of this automated service are required by BACS to incorporate a hardware security module (HSM) into their own payment processing infrastructure in order to protect and execute the most security sensitive processes. EigerPAY Gateway together with nCipher's nShield HSM is the first such solution to be approved by BACS.

"BACSTEL-IP provides major improvements for our business customers giving them greater security and control" says Tim Lambertstock, Technology Strategy Manager at BACS. "The ability to automate transactions is extremely important for many of our clients and we have responded with a series of security practices that reflect the critical nature of these systems. The deployment of hardware security modules is the best approach for establishing certifiable levels of security in high volume installations and we are delighted to approve the Eiger Systems and nCipher solution as the first system that satisfies these stringent requirements."

nCipher HSMs are already deployed by BACS within its own infrastructure to secure the cryptographic keys and certificate management processes for its IP-based electronic payments network. This well-proven hardware technology is now being extended out to BACSTEL-IP customer sites to complete the migration to the newBACS system.

"BACS' approval of EigerPAY Gateway together with nCipher's HSM is a tremendous step forward for large organisations planning their BACSTEL migration strategies" says Callum Johnston, Managing Director at Eiger Systems. "The nCipher HSMs provide an excellent combination of hardware security and performance and seamlessly integrate with EigerPAY Gateway."

"nCipher is well established as a provider of hardware security technology to banks and other providers of financial services" says Colin Bastable, vice president worldwide sales at nCipher. "BACS' approval of Eiger Systems' software together with nCipher hardware reinforces both our success in the electronic payments and PKI markets and enables both companies to play an important role in the widespread adoption of this important BACS initiative."

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