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Background Paper No 6 - European Payment Systems Obsevatory (ePSO)

The lack of trust and security has been reported as one of the most important factors hindering the development of e-commerce. This paper analyses how public key cryptography (PKC), public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital signatures can act as enablers for the deployment of secure Internet payments. The environment risks and the resulting security requirements are analysed, the security building capabilities of PKC, PKI, digital signatures and other infrastructure enabling elements such as smart cards and mobile phones are explored. Finally, the report looks at current practice, by discussing the current use of these techniques in Internet and mobile payments and in other application fields such as online banking, B2B applications and e-government services. A number of policy questions arise.

The full text of this paper is available online at:

Additional information

Authors: CENTENO C, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Insitute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20263 EN (2002), pp.48. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail:
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