German banks agree mobile digital signature code

German banks agree mobile digital signature code

Germany´s four largest banks, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank and HypoVereinsbank have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the introduction of an interoperable mobile digital signature.

The banks say the objective of the joint MoSign project is to provide corporate and private clients with a clear, uniform standard for secure online transactions using mobile phones or personal digital assistants. The initiative focusses on the exchange of private and public encryption keys stored on bank-issue Identrus-compliant smart cards. Identrus is a bank-backed initiative for the secure processing of transactions between companies on the Internet.

Compared with the current procedure of assigning unique transaction numbers (TANs), the MoSign partners believe that digital signatures and public key infrastructures (PKIs) are better suited to conducting binding online transactions in a mobile environment.

The four banks are working with Compaq, CoCoNet, emagine, Ericsson, Hewlett Packard, Materna, Microsoft, Sema, Siemens and TC TrustCenter to develop the MoSign infrastructure.

News of the agreement follows the recent announcement by Commerzbank that it has become the sixth global bank to issue chip-embedded Identrus digital certificates to corporate customers. Operating under the Comproof brand, the Commerzbank certificates will initially be used to provide corporates with secure e-mail, electronic bill presentment and payment, and B2B-based transactional services. There will also be browser-based financial software which uses Comproof certificates.

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