Blog article
See all stories »

An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

SocGen swaps hardware tokens for Entrust authentication technology

Societe Generale has signed for Texas-based e-security vendor Entrust's authentication platform, IdentityGuard, to protect online transactions and enterprise communications for high-end users.

See article

Future is the past? Back to cheap authentication...

Maybe it is a result of the cost-cutting trend at banks, SocGen is replacing hardware tokens to grid-card customer authentication on the web.

The advantage is clear: it is cheaper to issue some small paper cards than to purchase one hardware token in the EUR 5-15 range, especially when we are talking about hundreds of thousands of customers.

The only drawback is the ease of use: pushing one button on the token versus looking up line 3 - coloumn E - line 1 - coloumn B  - line 8 - coloumn D on the card.

I am curious whether other banks will follow this route or not.


Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 November, 2008, 10:08Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It might have something to do with SocGen's value dropping by 84%. Also, SocGen is not exactly a reference to use when it comes to security. I'm not sure that it gives a good image to replace an 'expensive' OTP device with a bingo-like card grid. But it should work for SocGen if they need to drastically cut cost.

Paul Penrose
Paul Penrose - Finextra - London 06 November, 2008, 10:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It could be the first sign of the credit crunch reaching into the otherwise insulated retail banking/security markets. Will other banks cut back in the same way, I wonder?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 November, 2008, 11:38Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The trend that I have seen so far is that crime has become more rampant and banks are more aware that they need to provide confidence and security. A bank's bottomline is now directly affected. Banks will have to weigh the cost and benefit of any system or solution. I think it's going to be a very interesting and challenging period for security providers. It is in this kind of 'climate' that efficient systems and solutions will thrive.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 08 January, 2009, 10:12Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes


This is the start of us getting rid of the OTP token, I hope.  They are expensive, don't do a particularly good job, and get lost or run out of juice.

By comparison there are cost effective methods of remote authentication, even remote transaction specific auth, which don't require additional hardware, or in one case even software to be deployed to the customers!

Server based systems, or mobile devices have to be better for all involved.



Blog group founder

Retired Member

Member since

19 Mar 2009


Blog posts




This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Online Banking

This community is for discussion of developments in the e-banking world, including mobile banking. This can include all the functional, business, technical, marketing, web site design, security and other related topics of Internet Banking segment, including public websites of the banks and financial institutions across the globe.

See all