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ASB Two Factor Security Registrations Double

15 August 2005

ASB Two Factor Security Registrations Double

Statement made by Clayton Wakefield, Head of Technology, Operations & Cards, ASB

New Zealand banks have all been affected by increased online fraud activity as the incidence of phishing, pharming and other types of fraud rise globally. This doesn't seem to be deterring people from the convenience of being able to bank online, with 1.7 million New Zealanders now registered for this service.

The good news for ASB customers is that they have the choice to protect their online transactions, and they are taking up this security option with increasing enthusiasm.

ASB was the first New Zealand bank to launch a two factor authentication security solution for its online personal banking customers - Netcode. Since March this year, we have seen the number of registered Netcode users double to more than 30,000. Customers are increasingly confident in transacting online with this added tier of protection.

Netcode is effective, and it is protecting the people who use it. Two factor security requires two independent forms of information to verify a customer is who they say they are - one form they know, such as their online banking password, and one they carry on their person. In the case of Netcode, this is their mobile phone.

Recognising there are online customers who are out of mobile phone coverage range, ASB has been trialing an additional form of two factor technology - tokens. Results from the customer Netcode Token trial are extremely positive and we are ready to announce full details shortly.

ASB provides additional Netcode features for further protection. Currently, customers are using Netcode to verify transactions or groups of transactions over $2500 per day. However transactions under that level could still be vulnerable to activity from online criminals.

To combat this lower level fraud, ASB recommends customers self-select a lower daily limit for transactions requiring a Netcode. This could be $500, $50 or even $1, whatever limit a customer feels comfortable with. Currently only a small number of ASB customers have opted to select a lesser Netcode daily limit. If more people used it, the incidence of online fraud would be lower still.

Through a combination of self-selected daily limits on Netcode, and the imminent introduction of tokens to support Netcode's mobile phone option, ASB will be offering a two factor authentication option to its entire online customer base.

It is a fact that online banking is more popular than ever before. This year ASB has had a 24% increase in customers registering for Fastnet Classic Internet banking. More online products and services are being developed, as are additional security initiatives to help protect customers transacting online. In the end, however, combating online fraud remains a shared responsibility between the bank and its customers, who will now have a choice of security options and levels of protection.

The accelerating number of customers registering for Netcode shows that ASB's two factor authentication options are security solutions that meet our customers' needs - balancing risk and cost against the convenience of online banking.


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