NW_20010215_en_Internet World - February 15, 2001_ “Banking on Wireless”

February 15, 2001

Wireless development can also be a headache for financial service providers and their vendors before services are even rolled out to consumers. When implementing wireless access services, financial firms and their developers have to contend with a plethora of very different potential access devices and specifications and limited service areas that make security and reliability difficult to manage. Most providers and developers manage their security through a combination of public key infrastructure (PKI) encryption and customer authentication, usually by password or personal identification number. Many…are looking into adding an additional hardware token to provide further user authentication.

Mario Houthooft, CEO of VASCO, a secure software developer, likewise believes that standard encryption and password-level authentication are not enough, especially given the ease with which many mobile customers misplace their cell phones and PDAs. He claims that PDA platforms have “no intrinsic security at all.”

While challenges remain for banks and financial services firms in delivering secure wireless access to accounts and transactions, they will need to meet the increasing demand for this capability as more wireless Internet devices get into their customers’ hands.