European smart card vendor Gemalto has launched an ultra-thin credit card-sized authentication device for online banking customers.
The Ezio Thin Reader enables customers to generate one-time passwords by inserting their bank card into the device and entering their PIN on its keypad.
Customers then use the password to identify themselves when they log in and sign for transactions.
Gemalto says the Ezio is compliant with MasterCard's chip authentication programme (Cap) and Visa's dynamic passcode authentication (DPA) standards and accepts any type of EMV smart cards.
Gemalto card readers are currently used by Barclays Bank to offer an added layer of protection to Internet bank customers. However the bank-branded PINSentry devices have come in for criticism for their ungainly design and bulky form factor, rendering them impractical for users logging in when travelling or away from their home PC.
They also offer zero protection from increasingly common man-in-the-middle attacks which capture details in transit to the secure banking channel.
Yesterday IBM unveiled a prototype USB stick designed to secure online banking transactions against malware and man-in-the-middle attacks. Customers use it to log in to their account and validate transactions via a server-side display on the device.