note This article deals with security certificates in IT environment.
A security certificate in IT environment is a third-party verification of a website's identity in order to establish trust.
A large number of online transactions is not completed but aborted in the final steps (entering of customer data and / or payment information) because customers have doubts whether their information will be handled by a partner they can trust. Hence, “trusting” a website finally is pure monetary value because the less customers trust a site, the less likely they are to buy there and the lesser profit will the company / owner of the website make.
Well-established third-party websites, such as verisign, have a “brand value” themselves, meaning, they are being trusted. This they use when issueing certificates to websites. These certificates are enabled during a customer/user-website interaction, which may, for example, be indicated by a color change of the brower's address bar to a lighter green. The website owner pays the issueing agency money, the agency checks (for example) the physical address of the company etc., and when the customer/user is asked for sensitive information such as credit card data, the light green of the address bar indicates that checks have been made and that he can trust the sender of the request.
<note warning>This list is not complete!</note>
★Verisign claims an average increase of 17.8% in completed transactions after starting to use their certifcates.★
— Matthias Völzke 2011/04/20 15:20