Intelligent Voice Research launches SoftFob for Web banking

Source: Intelligent Voice Research

Intelligent Voice Research, LLC (IVR), a global innovator in automated telephone customer-contact applications, today announced the release of SoftFob, a unique tool designed specifically to facilitate financial institutions in delivering a secure, multi-factor authentication key code to online consumers anytime, anywhere.

SoftFob is the first two-factor authentication system designed to address the need for online transaction security with a flexible, consumer-focused solution. Authentication keys are issued in real time, via voice message, email or SMS (text message), to customers conducting online transactions - wherever they are, worldwide.

Every bank and financial institution that authorizes online transactions must strengthen its current authentication practices (beyond user name and password) to ensure compliance by December 31, 2006, as outlined in the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council 's (FFIEC) newly issued guidelines on Security and Internet banking.

The development of SoftFob began long before FFIEC issued any guidance on enhanced security for Internet banking but once the guidance was issued, IV Research carefully reviewed SoftFob's design and specifications to ensure that it would meet compliance standards.

"Right now, banks and financial institutions are scrambling to identify, evaluate and implement a multi-factor authentication security system in order to comply with FFIEC's tight timeframe," said Joseph Nicholson, CEO of Intelligent Voice Research. "It is important to remember that while transaction authentication is a security matter, the delivery of authentication keys remains a customer service issue. Voice calling remains the most universal, low-cost and effective method of communicating with customers, though it is sometimes overlooked in favor of more complex solutions."

Hard fobs, imbedded credit card chips, scratch-off cards and other authentication code delivery methods currently in use are costly to implement, difficult to administer and are often resisted by consumer as cumbersome and complicated. SoftFob does not require any specialized hardware (tokens or hard fobs) or software (cookie or drivers installed on consumer's PC) to deliver authentication key codes. It works with any operating system and is designed to complement all of a corporation's security systems currently in place or under evaluation. SoftFob is a totally outsourced solution that can be completely implemented in several days and the cost to financial institutions is pennies per transaction.

"IVR's strength is developing effective customer contact solutions," comments Nicholson. "SoftFob is an application of this specialty - not a security system, per se. Delivering the SoftFob one-time key code to a customer's designated phone, email address, or by SMS text message, is a unique solution consumers will easily accept."

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