A recent report highlights the current threat of credit card skimming at ATMs and points of sale.
Mike Barwise and Daniel Bachfeld write, "figures provided to heise Security by UK banking trade body APACS show that in the first six months of 2007 skimming fraud accounted for 72.3 million UK pounds, a 37% rise on the 52.8 million lost in the equivalent period in 2006."
Despite the wide spread adoption of the chip-based card authentication, fraudulent payouts from skimmed and cloned bank and credit cards are a common problem.
The report continues, "… a major failing of many chip-capable ATM implementations is the option to "fallback" automatically to the readily copied magnetic strip if a chip is absent or not readable....Because many overseas ATMs (not least in the US) cannot cope with chips, the magnetic strip is unlikely to disappear in the near future. The triumph of convenience over security strikes again."
Valimo Wireless' mobile signature solution provides convenient and effective protection against such skimming and cloning and against other bank fraud such as phishing and identity theft. Mobile signatures secure ATM and payment transactions through asymmetric encryption and digital signatures, using mobile phones as a separate channel.
Tapio Vailahti, CEO of Valimo says: "Garanti bank and Is Bank in Turkey already use mobile signatures to service consumer loan customers straight from their ATM machines without having them enter a branch office. The same process is a convenient way of securing money withdrawals from those machines still relying on magnetic stripe information."
With mobile signatures to add security, for each transaction that relies on the magnetic stripe, the cardholder would get a signing request to the mobile phone stating the amount and location of the ATM. The cardholder then returns a mobile signature via the mobile phone network. This enables the banking system to establish whether or not this is a genuine withdrawal request and establishes a legally binding record that the cardholder approves the pending payout.
Mobile signatures also work across borders using the same roaming arrangement for sending international short messages. "I encourage financial institutions and mobile operators to investigate mobile signatures. No other fraud reduction technology is as secure and convenient, preventing fraud before it happens," explains Tapio Vailahti.
Valimo is the only provider of end-to-end mobile signature and identity solutions including a SIM client application available from the three largest SIM vendors. The Valimo Mobile Authentication Client (VMAC) is rapidly becoming the industry standard.