Volkswagen Bank, the financial services arm of the German automaker, is turning to QR code-like technology to fight threats posed by hackers. The bank, which focuses on vehicle and dealer financing, implemented the new technology with the help of OneSpan (formerly Vasco), a security and e-signature solutions company based in Chicago.
The OneSpan solution is called Cronto, and the company said it protects against man-in-the-browser attacks, where a hacker infects users’ computers to redirect and steal payments. Volkswagen Bank, which has a balance sheet of €83 billion ($91 billion), is using the technology through its standalone mobile app PhotoTAN-App, which is designed for customers to securely verify transactions with the bank.
When approving of a transaction online, the bank sends customers a colored QR-like picture that is tied to the transaction. Customers then take a picture of the colored dots through their trusted mobile device and verify their identity by scanning their fingerprints. The app then generates a one-time password that customers input to finalize the transaction.
In addition to protecting against hackers, Volkswagen Bank is aiming to meet PSD2 regulations. “The financial industry is changing rapidly as the result of higher customer demands, the move to mobile and new regulations,” said Mario Bandau, project manager at the bank, in a statement.
Chad Hetherington, global vice president of professional services at software provider NICE Actimize, earlier this year told Bank Innovation that companies are turning to technology more and more to fight financial crime. “Instead of spending on bodies and people higher up, now they’re spending on technology in order to be able to drive down all the operational costs they’ve had with regards to hiring people,” he said, adding that the challenge is finding people who understand both banking and tech. “It’s not enough just to have great technology.”