German savings banks to issue PKI-based chip cards

German savings banks to issue PKI-based chip cards

Deutscher Sparkassen Verlag (DSV), the central supplier to the German savings bank movement, has announced plans to issue up to 20 million smart cards embedded with digital certificates.

DSV says the cards, featuring digital authentication technology supplied by VeriSign, will be issued by its 600 member banks over the next several years.

"As supplier to over 18,000 branches of Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, DSV is well positioned to bring a new generation of Internet products to market," says Rudiger Mock-Hecker, head of card division, of Deutscher Sparkassen Verlag. "And as supplier to the largest network of retail banks in Germany, we chose VeriSign because they have the infrastructure that can scale to meet our needs and put digital certificates into our chip-equipped bankcards."

The newly enhanced smart cards will secure the distribution of general banking services such as brokerage and credit line communications, and insurance and loan applications, says Mock-Hecker, and will supplement password log in. Consumers who wish to use their digital credentials will have to buy their own smart card readers.

DSV is also using VeriSign to secure the Intranets and extranets of member banks as well as to secure e-mail, Web access and server ID's to organization group members. The Public Key Infrastructure-based solution built out by DSV will be compliant with pending EU qualified certificate regulations and with future versions of the German Digital Signature Law.

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