Digital trust network Identrus has joined with corporate standards body Twist in an initiative to build interoperability across the two groups.

Identrus joins a core collective of other corporate, bank and vendor supporters of Twist as a sponsor member.

The closer relationship between the two bodies follows recent moves by Identrus to break away from its roots as a bank-owned network and offer services directly to corporate prospects. To this end, the utility closed on US$20mn in new VC-led funding in July.

Karen Wendel, Identrus CEO, describes the affiliation with Twist as “key to our strategy”.

She continues: “Along with our membership to Twist, we will integrate the Twist standards into the Indentrus rule set. This will allow interoperability between Twist and the Identrus community.”

Tom Buschman, chairman of Twist, says Identrus’ expertise in dealing with identity and liability issues will be increasingly important as the industry grapples with the implementation of new European directives such as Sepa and MiFID.

Identrus’ courting of the corporate community comes as banking shareholders of financial messaging network Swift debate ways to ease network access for large corporate treasuries. The politically-sensitive issue has come to a head at the Swift convention in Copenhagen, where corporates took banks to task for being too slow to respond to their demands for cheaper and more integrated and flexible payments processing.

Bank-backed identity trust network Identrus has secured US$20mn in a Series B funding round led by California-based Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and New York’s Rho Ventures.

Existing investor Zions Bancorporation also participated in the round.

The company, which provides digital certification services, says it will use the funds to expand its international and domestic sales and distribution channnels. It also plans to extend its reach to new vertical markets including financial services, pharmaceutical, government and transportation and logistics.

The move is likely to see Identrus break away from the shackles of bank ownership and seek to address the needs of large corporate entities independent of their banking relationships.

Ben Terk, partner, Rho Ventures, says: “Organisations around the world now require a common and secure identity standard, such as the one created for Identrus member banks.”

The vendor says it will invest in business activities to develop relationships similar to those established with the RosettaNet consortium, which selected Identrus to provide digital identity certificate services to its member companies last year.