Bank of America Intros Mobile SafePass

09.11.07 | Mobile Banking | 0 Comments | by junger

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PC World has the scoop on Bank of America's new SafePass service, designed to make mobile banking more secure.

The SafePass system, which uses authentication technology developed by VeriSign Inc., sends a six-digit code to the customer's mobile phone. The code can be used only once, and it expires 10 minutes after being issued, making it harder for criminals to steal money from BofA accounts.

BofA customers can require this SafePass code for certain types of online banking activity such as transferring large amounts of money or logging on from a new computer.

SafePass isn't mandatory, so unlike Sitekeys, not every BofA mobile customer will need it.

But not all banks think "two-pass" systems work well. In fact, HSBC recently introduced their own security method that rivals the traditional two-factor security.

HSBC's "out of band" system relies on the customer's phone to keep their account secure. When making a payment, a pop-up appears asking which phone number they want to be contacted on and containing a Pin number generated by the computer. HSBC will then ring them and ask them for this number.

While the idea behind these security measures is genuine, inconvenience is definitely going to hinder the adoption of online and mobile banking.

If it isn't easy to use, why should brick and mortar bankers switch? It just doesn't make sense.

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