French smart card supplier Gemalto has acquired Finnish mobile authentication outfit Valimo Wireless. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Valimo's technology lets mobile phone users securely authenticate themselves, digitally sign documents and confirm legally binding transactions by entering a self-chosen passphrase or PIN.
The Mobile ID offering uses two-channel, two-factor authentication based on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), combining an over-the-air platform with a software client in the SIM.
The software is used to secure online banking, mobile payments, e-commerce, governmental services and identity and access rights management for enterprise applications.
The company has been working with Gemalto for five years, most notably on a digital signature project for a mobile operator in Turkey. The operator has tapped the technology to link up with 13 banks, enabling customers to authenticate themselves for online banking and to digitally sign transactions from their handsets.
Olivier Piou, CEO, Gemalto, says: "Whether it is a high end smart phone or a more basic phone, the one digital object consumers always have with them is their mobile phone, and they clearly express their desire to use it more and more for convenience in their daily life. Enabling people to conveniently sign legally-valid transactions is opening up a whole range of new applications for the mobile, at the service of citizens."
Juha Murtopuro, CEO, Valimo, adds: "We are happy as we believe this combination will accelerate the much expected deployment of Mobile ID, including into new territories and new markets such as e-banking and governments services."