Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Global Implementation of the SET Protocol for Electronic Commerce: A Cost/Benefit Analysis

The Internet has enabled global, business-to-consumer commerce in an unprecedented manner, and a critical ingredient for continued success in this arena is the guarantee of secure and private purcahse transactions. There are two major electronic payment protocols currently in use around the world -- SET (Secure Electronic Transactions) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). The SET protocol was developed by a consortium that includes Visa and MasterCard, and even before its introduction, it was expected to become the international industry standard. After a brief explanation and comparison of the two protocols, the current status of implementation in various parts of the world is presented. This is followed by a cost-benefit analysis for the SET protocol, analyzed from the perspecitve of the three main stakeholder groups: merchants, consumers and financial institutions that issue credit cards. In conclusion, the future of the SET protocol is examined.