ABnote: Building a Secure Delivery Channel to Mobile Devices

, ABnote With the increased proliferation of smartphones over the last few years, the banking sector is rapidly increasing their use of mobile devices to handle operations. However, with multiple mobile platforms and user downloadable applications, organizations need to deal carefully with both functional as well as security implications, to ensure that customers and applications are protected from malware and wrongdoers. American Banknote (ABnote), founded in 1795 and headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey, has meticulously addressed the concerns related to data security. The company has developed a secure delivery channel to mobile devices, regardless of the handset platform. “All of our communications with the mobile device is protected using our certified Trusted Service Manager platform, which provides real-time encrypted data to the handset,” begins Steven Singer, Chairman and CEO at ABnote.

As a certified partner of Visa and MasterCard, ABnote is global solution provider in the ecosystem of banking documents, payment cards, mobile banking solutions, and instant issuance services. Data security is a strong pillar of ABnote’s expertise. “Life-cycle integrity of crytpograhic keys and encrypted data are necessary requirements in all of our solutions. We manage the hosted data, which is always encrypted.” Similarly, the company’s recently introduced Identity Management service, built on a federated identity platform, is able to manage all aspects of user identity, including roles, users and access. This service can support identity management on smartphones as well, and can be combined with its wallet registration application. The Wallet Registration Application (WRA) securely binds an individual’s identity with a device, application, and PIN. “This is the basis for our online secure transactions. Adding tokens to the service decouples the standard Personal Account Number (PAN) from the transaction for an additional layer of security,” says John Ekers, ABnote’s Senior Vice-President and CIO.

Apart from providing solutions for card security, ABnote is also a provider of contactless payment solutions.

The company is a leader in supporting the latest innovation for smartphone payments, Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology. Based on Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, traditional smartphone “tap and go” payments require a chip on the smartphone to securely store consumer account information. HCE disrupts the chip based model by securely storing account information in the cloud. HCE payments are made through protected medium using tokens on the smartphone, derived from the cloud based consumer accounts. “We have partnered with SimplyTapp—literally the inventors of HCE—to build a platform to support end-to-end application provisioning along with personalization and token support,” says Ekers. “We have wallet solutions that can be ‘white labeled’ for issuers, along with support for wallets from ABnote partners, such as MeaWallet, an end-to-end mobile service platform.”

Our communication with the mobile device uses our certified Trusted Service Manager Platform to provide real-time encrypted data to the handset

With its viable and established portfolio, the company is serving a vast array of government and private sector clients around the world, including over 500 distinct financial issuers. “ABnote’s clientele includes major organizations such as HSBC, Citibank, Santander, Wells Fargo, and ANZ to very small organizations including dozens of issuers with fewer than 20 branches,” says Singer. The company’s creative strategic partnerships and unique solutions set them apart in the industry. “We never need to play ‘catch up’ when the industry evolves into newer technologies, because we are constantly teaming with the industry’s first movers,” says Singer. “As a result, we almost always have a next generation solution awaiting that evolution, rather than having to react to act.”

Moving forward, the company is planning to keep tabs on various market segments to help demographically analyze global trends, existing business or infrastructure challenges, and strategic planning. “We see information as the gateway for understanding future opportunities and have now developed the tools that can help today and tomorrow’s customers,” concludes Singer.