Feeds

Technical problems mar Barclays' PINSentry roll-out

The tricky business of thwarting online fraud

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Logistic and technical issues have hampered the rollout of a system designed to thwart phishing scams by UK bank Barclays.

The bank is issuing calculator-sized chip-and-PIN 'PINsentry' card readers to its online banking customers in a bid to combat online fraud.

Barclays' online customers (both consumers and small business) are required to use the handheld device to generate a one-time passcode that will have to be entered at login and to run some online banking functions, such as setting up payments to new third party accounts. The device will only generate a passcode once the user's bank card has been read, and the PIN code entered. The approach is a refinement of two-factor authentication approaches already in use by some UK banks, such at Lloyds TSB, and more widely by banks in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe for some time.

Safety first

PINsentry was launched in April and initially offered on request and from branches in October. Late last month the bank changed its policy so that customers who set up new third-party account payments were obliged to use the technology. After initially restricting the roll-out of the technology to 500,000 customers, Barclays now expects to supply 614,000 readers by the end of 2007. Two million regular online banking customers, who only use the service to check balances or pay trusted parties such as utilities, aren't obliged to use PINSentry.

Nonetheless, the accelerated roll-out has been accompanied by reports of delays at call centres and other problems. The Barclays device should be usable by any other UK bank because it conforms to APACS standard. However, a developer familiar with the project tells us that initial plans to use it with existing cards have proved problematic because banks found that it could interfere with the existing anti-fraud measures built into the cards and back-end processing systems.

As a result a decision was made to separate PINSentry (which is based on Mastercard's Chip Authentication Program [CAP]) into a new 'application' on the card.

"Barclays, and most of the other banks who decided to deploy this have therefore been quietly issuing these new cards for quite some time as part of their normal card issuance/replacement programmes," the developer explained. "This is one of the reasons why it's taken so long to get the technology deployed."

All change?

As well as problems getting readers into the hands of customers - that can take six days according to Barclays, and longer according to critics - there's also the potential problem of having to issue new cards. We say 'potential problem' because the system can be made to work with existing cards if customers kick up a fuss, according to anecdotal evidence from Reg readers. Some customers have succeeded in deferring the application of the technology after complaining.

This in turn has contributed to delays in reaching Barclays's call centre helplines. A Barclays spokesman admitted to possible delays in call centres, but maintained that the roll-out was proceeding smoothly.

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Next page: Users are revolting

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.