First Union and GTE Testing Digital Certificates for Online Banking Application

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., and NEEDHAM, Mass. First Union Corp. and GTE
announced plans today to test digital certificates in First Unions Internet banking
program, CyberbankingSM. The GTE CyberTrust digital certificates will be
used to provide user identification, access control, and data security for access to
Internet banking. This new combination of digital certificates and Cyberbanking
makes First Union the first financial institution to apply this technology for online
home banking.

In the four-month pilot, GTE CyberTrust Customer-Branded Service will issue
First Union-branded digital certificates to a small group of First Union
Cyberbanking customers. Digital certificates are electronic credentials for secure
online transactions, containing information to identify the account holder. The
certificates will provide stronger authentication and be used to simplify the
Cyberbanking log-in process. First Union will enhance customer privileges in the
second phase with the addition of bill payment and funds transfer.

"The addition of GTE CyberTrust digital certificates will give our Cyberbanking
customers an increased level of convenience and security," said Edgar D. Brown,
senior vice president, First Unions Customer Direct Access Division. "Digital
certificates are the wave of the future and we are excited to test this product with
GTE. We are always looking for ways to offer our customers state-of-the-art
online products, as well as choice. First Union has more ways for its customers
to manage their finances than most banks in America."

"First Union is taking the next step in online banking by testing digital certificates
for Cyberbanking," said Tom Carty, vice president, marketing and business
development, GTE. "Consumers are demanding stronger authentication and
transaction security in home banking applications. GTE CyberTrust digital
certificates enable greater security for Internet account information and

First Union customers can access Cyberbanking at
from any computer with World Wide Web access. Customers may check
balances in their checking, savings, money market, CAP, credit card, IRA, loans
and time deposit accounts. Cyberbanking customers can also pay bills, transfer
funds within First Union, check recent account activity, re-order checks, and
issue stop payment requests.

Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union Corp. provides financial products and
services to more than 12 million customers nationwide. First Union is the nations
sixth-largest bank holding company with assets of $137 billion as of March 31,

GTE CyberTrust certification authority products and services enable financial
institutions, systems integrators, technology providers and corporate enterprises
to issue digital certificates for use in a wide range of applications. GTE
CyberTrust digital certificates can be configured to comply with the Secure
Sockets Layer (SSL) standard or the latest Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)
protocol. GTE is the preferred provider of American Express ExpressIDs and
the exclusive provider of MasterCard-issued SET certificates. More information
about GTE CyberTrust products and services can be find on the World Wide
Web at

With revenues of more than $21 billion in 1996, GTE is one of the largest
publicly held telecommunications companies in the world. In the United States,
GTE offers local and wireless service in 29 states and long-distance service in all
50 states. GTE was the first among its peers to offer "one-stop shopping" for
local, long-distance and Internet access services. Outside the United States,
where GTE has operated for more than 40 years, the company serves over 6.5
million customers. GTE is also a leader in government and defense
communications systems and equipment, directories and
telecommunications-based information services, and aircraft-passenger
telecommunications. Additional information about GTE can be found on the
Internet at

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