Digital certificates can only be effective enablers of trade when all parties to a transaction have confidence in the certification authority that issued the digital certificate. Trade is conducted globally and there will be times where a relying party will not be familiar with a certification authority and therefore may not feel confident in relying on a digital certificate they have issued.

To overcome this issue, certification authorities may be certified by a higher level certification authority that is more widely known and trusted. This is known as a trust hierarchy and at the top of a hierarchy is the root certification authority, sometimes also referred to as a trust anchor.

The IdenTrust™ scheme is an example of a trust hierarchy. The IdenTrust™ organisation acts as a RCA and uses its own-signed digital certificate to certify a participating financial institution, which acts as certification authority. By doing this IdenTrust also states that they have qualified to the standards of the scheme.

IdenTrust, IdenTrust System and the IdenTrust logo are trademarks and service marks of IdenTrust, LLC.