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Public Key Infrastructures for the Financial Services Industry



William E. Burr, K L. Lyons-Burke


This paper addresses how financial institutions can use a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and some of the problems they may face in the process. PKI is an emerging cryptographic technology that is badly needed to realize the potential of information networks and electronic commerce. It enables both encryption and non-repudiable digital signatures, which offer stronger integrity and confidentiality than are possible with traditional paper documents. While in its infancy, PKI is already a linchpin of Internet commerce.There are many applications for a PKI in financial institutions. A PKI can enable the replacement of paper documents and paper based services by more efficient electronic documents and services. It can allow the mutual authentication of previously unknown parties for electronic transaction, while protecting the confidentiality and integrity of the transactions. This can be done over otherwise insecure networks. Financial institutions can use PKI to make their operation more efficient, and will need to use PKI to participate effectively in electronic commerce. Financial institutions may also choose to offer PKI services to the public, as a business line in its own right.
Future of Financial Services - Winning in the Age of Technology


cryptography, digital signature, electronic commerce, financial services, PKI, public key, public key infrastructure


Burr, W. and Lyons-Burke, K. (2000), Public Key Infrastructures for the Financial Services Industry, Future of Financial Services - Winning in the Age of Technology, [online], (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created June 21, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017