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Making sure you are you – Authentication for Net

Making sure you are you – PSIS launches Two Factor Authentication for Internet Banking

The SafeKey
The SafeKey device

Media Release
Embargoed until 9.00am, 25 July 2006

Making sure you are you – PSIS launches Two Factor Authentication for Internet Banking

Internet banking fraud is a reality and PSIS is one of the first personal banking organisations to use a system that enables them to make doubly sure that a customer is who they say they are over the Internet.

The financial services organisation is introducing a new two-factor authentication system, called SafeKey, that provides an extra layer of protection. The customer’s identity will be verified in two ways – something they know (password) and something they have (a SafeKey token).

From today a SafeKey token, a small device you can put on a key ring that has an LCD display with a changing series of codes, will be available to all PSIS customers who use Internet Banking.

PSIS chief executive, Girol Karacaoglu, said today: “The SafeKey code is input, along with the customer’s username and password, whenever they login to Internet Banking. The one-time codes are synchronised with our computer systems, so we know the code belongs to the customer.”

“The new service is optional but we hope all our Internet Banking users will take advantage of this extra security measure,” Dr Karacaoglu said.

A similar token is already offered in New Zealand by ASB and BankDirect, however, PSIS is making the service available to all Internet Banking users, there is no charge for the initial token, and PSIS is not charging a monthly fee.

The Hon David Cunliffe, Minister for Information Technology, officially launched the service today at a function at PSIS House. Other guests included the National Manager of the New Zealand Police’s Electronic Crime laboratory, Consumers’ Institute and enthusiastic users of PSIS’s Internet Banking service. A PSIS customer and Victoria University student, Lisa Lankshear, was the first person to use the SafeKey at the launch function.

The Minister said: “The introduction of strengthened security for Internet customers through authentication was a very important and necessary step. Internet Banking is increasingly becoming a preferred way for New Zealanders to manage their financial affairs.”

The Minister congratulated PSIS on yet again being an early adopter of new technologies.

Dr Karacaoglu said: “We have introduced SafeKey as part of our commitment to making banking as convenient and secure as possible for our customers. In our 77-year history we have always been progressive and at the forefront of technological developments to offer new and improved services. PSIS was founded to safeguard the living standards of the public service by providing low-cost financial services at a time when there was a reluctance on the part of main-stream banks to lend on favourable terms. It also made loans to women a long time before other financial organisations.”

“Not only has PSIS been socially progressive it was also one of the first to provide Telephone Banking, first to provide retail shopping over the phone, first to provide TXT Banking, and is still the only banking services provider to offer Electronic Transfer Withdrawal (ETW) providing cleared funds to an external bank account on the next business day.”

Dr Karacaoglu predicts PSIS’s SafeKey system will find immediate acceptance with the 60% of PSIS customers who are 45 years and younger.

“PSIS may be small in relation to the big banks, but it is because of our size that we can act quickly to take on new ideas that improve banking services for our customers,” Dr Karacaoglu said.


Editor’s notes:

A photo is attached of the SafeKey device.

The system has been developed by RSA Security Inc., a company that specializes in security technologies for the Internet.

The features and Benefits of the PSIS SafeKey are:

- Ease of use – it is as simple as entering a password, but much more secure.

- Each end user is assigned a token which generates a new, one-time code every 60 seconds. The user combines this code with their username and password to access their Internet Banking.

- Only the PSIS Authentication Manager knows which number is valid at that moment in time for that user/authenticator combination.

© Scoop Media

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