New alternative payments solutions
continue to be brought to the US market in a regular stream.
Among the latest is SafeDebit, a joint
offering by US payments processor NYCE Payments Network and US
payments technology developer Verient. NYCE is a unit of banking
and payments technology vendor Metavante.
Unlike many new alternative payments
solutions, SafeDebit is aimed squarely at the bank and credit union
industry and makes use of existing internet banking infrastructures
and customer interfaces with merchants and banks.
SafeDebit is initially being offered as a
According to the project partners, consumers
who want to use SafeDebit when making purchases online choose ‘NYCE
SafeDebit’ on a merchant’s website during the checkout process.
The system then redirects them to their
financial institution’s online banking site, where they log on as
usual through that site’s existing security protocols.
The SafeDebit system then generates virtual
debit card information for one-time use and automatically populates
the merchant’s checkout screen with this information, with no
additional keystrokes required from the consumer. The consumer’s
debit card number is never disclosed to a merchant and a PIN is not
For Verient the tie-up with NYCE marks a major
milestone in its evolution.
Founded in 2006, Varient is backed by Japanese
mobile network operator DoCoMo’s US venture capital unit and
US-based venture capital firm Global Catalyst Partners, which
numbers Japanese conglomerates Mitsubishi, Fujistu and Sumitomo
among its backers.
Varient founder and CEO Rajesh Shakkarwar has
an impressive record in the electronics industry and has held
senior positions at, among others, Sun Microsystems and Intel.
Senior management includes Jeff Weikert, who,
prior to joining Varient, was a senior vice-president at online
billpay specialist CheckFree.