Thales Blog

Do You Know Whether Your Customer Really Is Who They Say They Are? Help Is At Hand From The Payments Council

May 18, 2010

Banks are increasingly turning to two-factor authentication to protect their customers from payment fraud. However, deciding on the most appropriate method is not an easy task and involves a three-pronged approach: assessing the data being accessed and transactions being carried out; assessing the risks; and thirdly, ensuring you have a full understanding of the authentication methods available.

This is not easy when there is a large, and somewhat bewildering, array of authentication technologies available. Determining which method to use is not a task for the faint-hearted. In fact, it is probably best left to the security professionals.

But if you’re not a security professional and you know you have a customer authentication problem to solve, where do you start? How do you know what authentication methods are available? How can you decide whether they are suited to your requirements and can meet what you are trying to achieve before engaging with the security professionals? This is where a new tool and survey from the Payments Council claims to steps in. The Payments Council tool can be loaded onto a PC where it “identifies the best suited authentication option based upon the specified requirements and will help banks and businesses make sense of the sheer variety of customer authentication options on offer”.

Of course it’s difficult to assess the scope or usefulness of the tool with the brief information that the Payments Council has released about it, but it could just be what’s needed to enable business managers to understand the options open to them. Either way, if this new tool helps banks move away from password-only protection towards two-factor authentication, then it can only be a good thing.