Microsoft, Visa in online security pact

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Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., and Visa International, San Francisco, announced Wednesday at Networld + InterOp, Atlanta, availability of a jointly developed specification to enable secure payments over public and private networks. The specification, called Secure Transaction Technology (STT), is built as an electronic version of the payment card system currently in use. The companies are promoting the specification to card brands, financial institutions and software developers. Separately, MCI Communications Corp. and Information Resource Engineering announced a joint marketing alliance to offer an Internet security service called SafeNet. The service combines MCI Internet services and IRE's security products and will be used by Dreyfus Corp. to process electronic mutual fund transactions. Dreyfus Corp. is Mellon Bank Corp.'s mutual fund subsidiary.

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