National Australia Bank is to use SMS messaging to provide PIN-protected access to Internet banking services for online customers.
Under the scheme, NAB customers will be invited to register their mobile phone numbers with the bank. Each time a registered user tries to log on to their accounts, the bank will send a unique PIN-entry code by SMS to their mobile.
The bank plans a pilot of the programme in September and full roll-out to its one million online banking customers next year.
This two-factor authentication system is intended to crack down on phishing fraud, which has plagued banks down under.
NAB is not alone in evaluating new schemes to beat the fraudsters. Bendigo Bank has also announced plans to offer its 70,000 Internet banking customers keyring-sized authentication tokens from Belgium-based Vasco which generate a new password every time a customer logs on to the Net.
The bank says it has yet to decide who will foot the bill for the devices, which are expected to cost up to A$15 each.