Swiss cantonal banks issue free EMV card readers

Swiss cantonal banks issue free EMV card readers

Banks in the Swiss Cantons of Vaud and Geneva are to provide their customers with two-factor authentication using EMV-enabled smart card readers that leverage their existing investment in chip technology.

Under the initiative, the banks will be providing up to 20,000 online customers with Xiring's Xi-Sign 4000 smart card readers for free.

Xi-Sign 4000 is a portable, unconnected, standalone smart card reader; the user inserts their chip card into the reader and inputs their normal four digit PIN code. Following the confirmation of this PIN code, the reader displays a one-time-passcode (OTP) generated by the chip. This eight digit passcode is valid for a single transaction and is used as the final stage of authentication when accessing bank details via the Web portal.

Nigel Reavley, sales & marketing manager of the banking business unit at Xiring, says the system "maximises the investment the Swiss banks made in their EMV migration by using the smart card's Chip and PIN capability beyond normal over-the-counter cardholder-present transactions."

The new security system is being implemented initially for online banking with the support of local IT services firm Uncible. It is expected that the banks will ultimately extend the service to incorporate other cardholder not present transactions such as mail order shopping and telephone banking.

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