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Retailers and banks can now check ID through the mobile phone

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With security of services – for both consumers and retailers – being one of the key stumbling blocks to the wider uptake of m-commerce, financial services group Voice Commerce has launched KYC Secure, a federated database developed to secure and authenticate a consumer’s identity over their mobile phone.

The first regulated mobile identity database of its kind, KYC Secure has been designed to support a global standard for e-money and mobile payment account opening procedures. It provides any company or financial institution with the means to verify a customer’s identity based on their unique biometric Voice Signature in order to significantly reduce exposure to online, credit and identity fraud.

KYC Secure brings together Voice Commerce’s regulated VoicePay and Cashflows payment systems and ensures Voice Signatures are verified before being stored in the secure VoiceTransact database. A number of organisations are already supporting this federated initiative, including Experian, which is already providing Voice Commerce with its credit information services and 192business who provide online identity verification solutions to Voice Commerce to verify the identities behind the Voice Signatures.

Organisations are increasingly required to verify an individual’s identity, whether in situations where there is an existing customer relationship or where a new relationship is being established. At the same time, consumers are increasingly aware of the threats posed to their identities and want to ensure that their financial information is secure. KYC Secure takes all these needs into account, providing consumer protection in the emerging mobile and e-money transactions area by embedding robust security from the onset and guaranteeing transactions are undertaken only with consumers consent. It also enables organisations to easily verify customers’ and potential customers’ identities through their mobile phone.

In practice KYC Secure allows an organisation requesting an identity check from a potential customer to simply ask for the individual’s mobile phone number, which they enter into the KYC Secure website. The customer who, previously registered to use the service, receives a mobile phone call, where they are asked to identify themselves using their unique biometric Voice Signature. If the applicant is confirmed using the two factor authentication they are required to pass a four digit number provided to them back to the organisation. This is then entered into the KYC Secure system by the organisation and serves to triangulate and time stamp that person at a specific location. Additional authenticated information can also be requested before confirmation of the individual’s identity is achieved.

Nick Ogden, CEO of Voice Commerce Group, explains: “The development of security and authentication services over the internet has seen a slow evolution and today many people are still exposed to card fraud and identity theft. To try and prevent the same issues from occurring for mobile and potential e-money users, where some five billion consumers are already looking to tap into the m-commerce market place, we needed to think outside the box and create a whole new system of identity verification and authentication. Having been the first to guarantee internet transactions against fraud we realised the need for security and authenticity in the mobile world was a significant barrier to growth.

“KYC Secure offers a highly anticipated, guaranteed and secure environment where organisations can collaborate to encourage consumers to use a federated account system that they alone control. Just as the Voice Transact database becomes richer for organisations to use so to do the services available for consumers to instantly sign up to, enabling all parties to benefit from the massive opportunities provided by mobile commerce.”

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