Utah uses digital signatures to secure business deals

Utah uses digital signatures to secure business deals

Utah Incentive Funds, a division of the state's department of business and economic development, is using online services secured with digital certificates to lure more businesses to the state.

The division opened a Web gateway this month that lets businesses complete applications for funding and create legal business agreements securely over the Internet using digital certificates.

Earlier this month, one rural business used the state's service, and four more will sign agreements later this week, state officials said.

The state is using the eTransaction architecture created by NxLight Inc. of Orem, Utah, and digital certificates from Identrus LLC of New York.

The certificates are the same as those sold under the General Services Administration's Access Certificates for Electronic Services contract that was held by Digital Signature Trust Inc. of Salt Lake City. Identrus acquired Digital Signature Trust in March.

'It has cut our time in negotiating contracts from months to minutes,' said Tamee Roberts, program specialist at Utah Incentive Funds.

The state has had trouble handling the volume of applications in a timely manner, she said. 'Those applications hit a bottleneck.'

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