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What Is a Secure Electronic Transaction? | Speed Commerce

What Is a Secure Electronic Transaction?

3PL Glossary > Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)

What Is a Secure Electronic Transaction?

Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) is a protocol developed to enhance the security of online credit and debit card transactions. It was jointly developed by Visa and Mastercard in the mid-1990s to address the growing concerns about the security of electronic payments over the internet. SET aims to establish a secure and standardized framework for online transactions by encrypting sensitive information and ensuring the authentication of both the cardholder and the merchant.

What is the primary purpose of Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) in the realm of online transactions?

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In a SET transaction, the key security feature is the use of digital certificates. These certificates are issued by a trusted third party, known as a Certificate Authority (CA), and they serve to verify the identity of both the customer and the merchant involved in the transaction. The encryption process involves the use of public and private keys, ensuring that the information exchanged during the transaction remains confidential and protected from unauthorized access. SET also incorporates digital signatures to verify the integrity of the transmitted data and to confirm that the parties involved are genuine.

Despite being a significant advancement in online transaction security, SET faced challenges in adoption due to its complexity and the emergence of alternative, simpler encryption methods. Over time, newer and more user-friendly security protocols have evolved, but the principles established by SET have contributed to shaping the secure electronic transactions landscape, emphasizing the importance of encryption, authentication, and digital signatures in safeguarding online financial transactions.


No, Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) is not widely used today. SET was developed in the 1990s as a secure protocol for online credit card transactions, but it faced challenges with adoption and was eventually overshadowed by other, more widely adopted security protocols like SSL/TLS.

Yes, Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) encrypts the entire credit card transaction process. It was designed to provide end-to-end security for online transactions, encrypting sensitive information such as credit card details to ensure secure communication between the customer, merchant, and the payment gateway.

Yes, Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) was designed to prevent unauthorized access to payment information during online transactions. Through the use of digital certificates and encryption techniques, SET aimed to establish a secure channel for transmitting sensitive data, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of online payment information.

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