UBS has become the first bank to roll out IBM's Zone Trusted Information Channel (ZTIC) online banking security hardware to its customers.
The ZTIC is a USB-attached device that connects to a user's computer to add an extra layer of security on top of existing authentication systems. Customers use it to log in to their account and validate transactions via a display on the device.
The system creates a direct, secure channel to the bank's online transaction server, bypassing the PC which could be infected by malware or susceptible to hacker attacks, says IBM.
Branded the UBS Access Key, the hardware is initially being offered to the bank's Swiss clients and is free for corporates, with retail clients charged CHf65.
Customers connect the device to their computer and then insert their UBS access card into it and enter a PIN on the banking site. Once a payment is made in the normal way, the beneficiary's account number is displayed on the ZTIC device for confirmation.