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[ 24 December 2001 ] Business Times - Building Trust In B2C Online Transactions

Business Times - 24 Dec 2001: Singapore's National Trust Council (NTC) has appointed CommerceTrust Ltd as an Authorised Code Owner (ACO) for business-to-consumer (B2C) retailers. This will allow CommerceTrust to award the TrustSg seal to online merchants who are accredited under its ConsumerTrust Global Reliability Programme.

The TrustSg seal certifies organisations and businesses whose members adhere to good e-business practices. "One of the most significant obstacles for adoption of e-business practices is the uncertainty both consumers and businesses feel about the security of online transactions," said Wang Kai Yuen, chairman of NTC. "To develop Singapore into a secure and trusted e-commerce hub, the NTC introduced this programme to build confidence among both consumers and businesses in transacting online."

To boost its adoption, the NTC and the IDA (Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore) have set up a Trust Mark Certification Fund that subsidises up to 50 per cent of the accreditation fee.

"Third-party seal programmes such as ConsumerTrust and TrustSg can have a significant impact on industry's ability to create a trusted environment for online shoppers," said CommerceTrust's chairman, associate professor Toh See Kiat. "This appointment will expedite our efforts to create a business environment on the Internet that promotes consumer confidence and trust."

ConsumerTrust is a global trustmark started by CommerceNet Singapore, an industry association for local companies engaging in e-commerce. "By leveraging on our global network, we can ensure an equitable level of protection for consumers across national boundaries," said Wong Jeh Shyan, CEO of CommerceNet Singapore.

The organisation also functions as the secretariat for the International Trustmark Network (ITN), a global network that aims to promote cooperation among trustmark awarding organisations. The third ITN meeting will be held here in April 2002. Trustmark awarding organisations from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan and the US are expected to attend.

CommerceTrust will work with US-based ePublicEye.com, a proprietary monitoring system that lets consumers rate e-businesses for reliability, privacy and customer satisfaction. CommerceTrust is also working with Switzerland-based Societe Generale de Surveillance, an independent certification organisation, to perform the conformity assessments for its Global Reliability Programmes.

The ConsumerTrust Code of Practice is based on the international practices of trustmarks established in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe) guidelines and other regulatory standards. It focuses on issues such as disclosure of relevant information about goods or services offered, truthful and accurate advertising, dispute resolution, and security and privacy of business transactions.

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