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Forwarded: FSTC Electronic Check Project News Release

FSTC Promises Early Demonstration Using the Internet

Media contacts: Mayer Resnick (201) 836-2968, FSTC, Ed Russell (617)
434-6883, Bank of Boston, FSTC URL: http://www.llnl.gov/fstc

New York (Aug. XX, 1995) -- The Financial Services Technology Consortium
(FSTC) today announced the formation of a multi-industry team to design and
implement an lectronic check for use over the Internet by consumers and
 FSTC is a consortium whose goal is to utilize emerging technologies to
enhance the competitiveness of the financial services industry.
 The FSTC Electronic Check, which will work within the existing banking
infrastructure, brings the benefits of paper checks to electronic commerce,
while permitting the increased efficiency and timeliness of doing business
on the "net."  FSTC expects to demonstrate the Electronic Check within the
next two months.
 "This project is particularly significant because it represents the first
collaborative effort by major banks and their industry partners to develop
from inception a new financial standard," said Dan Schutzer, FSTC president
and Citibank vice president and director of advanced technology.
 "FSTC's Electronic Check is designed to be open, secure and convenient.
It will bring to electronic commerce on the Internet a level of security
and confidence currently found only in traditional banking products,"
Schutzer added.
 Bank members of the FSTC Electronic Check program are: Bank of America,
Bank of Boston, Bank of Montreal, Bank One, Chemical Bank, Citibank, and
Wells Fargo Bank.  Industry members are: BBN Inc. (Bolt Beranek & Newman),
Equifax, IBM Corporation, Information Resources Engineering Inc., National
Semiconductor, Sun Microsystems and Telequip. Research and consulting
organizations are: Bellcore, Oak Ridge and Sandia National Laboratories,
and the University of Southern California-Information Sciences Institute.
 Advisory members are:  Electronic Check Clearing House Organization
(ECCHO) and National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA).
 Appointed as the FSTC Electronic Check project director is John Doggett,
director of applied technology, and as project manager is Frank Jaffe,
senior systems consultant, both from Bank of Boston.
 "As shown by the over 60 billion checks written annually, paper checks are
the payment mechanism of choice.  We expect the FSTC Electronic Check and
its smart-card or PC-card checkbook to become the preferred method for
making and receiving payments due to its cost-effectiveness and embedded
safety features," Doggett said.  "The vision of a bank in your pocket, a
bank at your desk, a bank where your are, can now be achieved with the FSTC
electronic check," Doggett added.
 Formed in September 1993, FSTC is a consortium of some 65 organizations
comprising banks, financial services firms, industry partners, national
laboratories, universities, and government agencies.  FSTC sponsors
collaborative research and development on technical projects affecting the
entire financial services industry and its users with particular emphasis
on projects involving electronic commerce.  FSTC development projects
include interbank check image exchange, electronic commerce, and fraud
detection and management.
Editor's note:  Attached is a brief description of how the FSTC Electronic
Check works.

A Brief Description of How FSTC Electronic Check Works

 The FSTC Electronic Check will provide an enhanced all-electronic
replacement to the current paper check, and will be useable over any
 Paper checks and checkbooks will be replaced by electronic checkbooks,
handwritten signatures will be replaced by digital signatures and the
delivery by the postal service by the Internet or other electronic highway.
 These changes will greatly increase the convenience and security of check
writing since the entire process will be automated and integrated into
existing applications.
 By using "smart cards" and PC cards as electronic checkbooks the FSTC
Electronic Check will be almost impossible to forge.  Unlike paper checks,
the person accepting an FSTC Electronic Check for payment will be able to
verify that it has not been altered.
 As with paper checks, electronic checks will be an open payment
instrument, providing for third-party services and a variety of payment
options, such as travelers', cashiers' and certified checks.  FSTC
Electronic Checks also integrate into existing interbank clearing networks
such as the Federal Reserve System and various automated clearing houses.
 FSTC's unique approach to the Electronic Check results in a secure,
self-authenticating payment instrument that bridges the barrier between the
insecure public network and the trusted financial clearing systems.
# # #
For further information on how FSTC and how FSTC Electronic Check works,
please contact: Mayer Resnick (201) 836-2968, FSTC, or Ed Russell (617)
434-6883, Bank of Boston.
# # #