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Brazilian federal bank Caixa Economia Federal (CEF) is the country’s first financial institution to sell digital certification services.

The launch comes months after previous forecasts. In July 2002 CEF started a digital certification pilot programme, and executives were quoted as saying the service would be ready in August. Until now private companies Serasa and Certisign, and the finance ministry’s data processing unit Serpro, have dominated the digital certification market. CEF expects that 1.2mn online corporate banking clients will buy digital certification services.

  • Brazil’s digital certification industry is among the most advanced in the world thanks to the high penetration of online banking. Out of Brazil’s 12 million internet users, 5 million or 40% use online banking services. According to Certisign CEO Sergio Kulikovsky, Brazil’s government is the only one in the world to create a digital certification regulator.

    CEF is Brazil’s second largest federal bank, behind Banco do Brasil.