St George to add SMS text authentication in Net bank revamp

St George to add SMS text authentication in Net bank revamp

Australia's St George Bank is to move to SMS text authentication as part of a major revamp of its online banking platform.

The bank has confirmed plans to overhaul its ten-year old Internet banking network early next year. The new plaform, like its predecessor, will be built entirely inhouse.

In line with other Australian banks, St George is taking the opportunity to upgrade security for online banking users by introducing two-factor authentication. Under the new system, customers will be sent one-time only passwords by SMS text to authorise funds transfers from their accounts.

In an interview with the Australian, St George chief information officer John Lobenstein said the bank favoured SMS over the use of token-based authentication.

"We will use a token for business customers, but for individual customers we'll SMS or telephone it on selected transactions," he told the paper. "Tokens are relatively expensive if you're issuing two million of them, and what happens if you lose it, or if the battery runs flat?"

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