Leading European mobile payments application developer Cellum unveiled a breakthrough new technology at this year's Money2020 conference in Las Vegas that makes ID and ticket presentation essentially copy- and forgery-proof, further advancing the vision of the smartphone as a perfect wallet.
The higher level of security offered by "Motion QR" makes the printing of e-tickets purchased online unnecessary and precludes duplication, while at the same time making the process of identifying authorized holders of such tickets both error-proof and extremely simple. As a result, it is expected to further spur the use of mobile devices for transport and event ticketing, personalized coupons and even electronic ID cards.
"Our new development opens up new horizons in the field of mobile transactions," said Cellum Global CEO János Kóka, who pointed out that the breakthrough of the new technology is its advanced storage capability, allowing the secure storage of photos, fingerprints, etc. "We can turn the smartphone into a wallet that not only lets users pay, but also serves to store and present their transport and event tickets, their passes, or even such sensitive personal information as a national ID card or health insurance data. Besides security, the difference between the static and motion QR code is like photography versus motion picture. The latter holds much more information."
The solution engineered by Cellum, which is best known as the developer of the renowned MasterCard Mobile remote payment app, allows for multiple sets of data to be blended together into a single graphic code that changes ten times a second. The resulting code, which can contain complete photo IDs, passports, monthly transport passes, or any kind of biometric data, can be displayed on a smartphone without risk of being copied or forwarded.
While it is technically possible to capture a stream of images such as a motion QR code, Cellum's technology renders this risk moot by tying the code to the identity of the user. This is done by employing either a photo of the authorized user or another form of biometric information. Verification is possible offline as well, with the help of a simple scanner or smartphone. For example, an authenticated and encrypted version of a fingerprint can be displayed on the phone screen, allowing the identity of its holder to be checked with an offline fingerprint scanner and preventing illegitimate use.
Founder and Chief Visionary Balázs Inotay explained that the core of the new technology, which is labeled 'Cellum Secure', is a security procedure that had been developed for the company's unique payment platform. Cellum Secure products are PCI DSS compliant and offer the highest possible degree of security by following a zero-fraud policy.
"The essential property of the Motion QR code is that it can only be issued and sent to the user's phone by the competent authority - a ticket issuing company, official ID card issuing authority, etc. - with the help of Cellum and its special encryption method," Inotay explained. "But anyone can check the validity of the digital document with a freely-available reader app. This is in line with how printed passports can be read and checked by anyone, while only the competent authority can issue them. Just like a passport, the code can contain a photo and biometric ID, thus the system includes most features of chip-based ID'ing, while cutting heavily on distribution-related costs, offering a cheaper and simpler alternative. Encoding of the consecutive QR codes in the stream is redundant, highly secure and fault-tolerant. Still, it can be displayed as well as scanned by any smartphone. "
"Motion QR codes provide immense security for users and merchants likewise," said Cellum CEO Kóka. "The technology is already working in a test environment and now we are working on launching it live. Almost simultaneously with the announcement in the USA, we are demonstrating the new solution in Europe and Japan."
Cellum's new solution has already drawn significant interest from several international financial institutions and global IT firms, while the full commercial version is due to launch in early 2014.