Ulster Bank steps up security against ID theft

14 Nov 2007

Ulster Bank is issuing special card readers to its internet banking customers as part of ongoing measures to combat online banking fraud.

The free-of-charge readers are part of Ulster Bank’s overall enhanced security strategy to prevent identity theft by making it difficult for attackers to steal a user’s online identity.

For various transactions such as changing a PIN, paying bills or amending standing orders online, users will be required to possess the card reader as well as their passwords.

This would mean a potential fraudster would need to be in possession of three things — the card reader, an ATM/debit card and know the card PIN.

For a transaction to occur, the user would need to put their ATM card into the card reader, input their PIN and then type in an eight digit “challenge code” that appears on their computer screen.

The challenge code is typed into the reader and then a “response code” is generated, which would then be used to authorise the transaction online.

“Increased online fraud is driving financial providers to supply greater online security for their customers,” explained Michael McKavanagh, head of Retail Direct at Ulster Bank.

“In October of this year, Anytime Banking transactions passed the one million mark, which indicates that more and more customers are going online to conduct their day-to-day banking. The introduction of Ulster Bank card readers will ensure that an easy to use extra level of security is provided for all of our online banking customers,” McKavanagh added.

By John Kennedy