Thales today announced that Wing Lung Bank, one of the oldest and most established Chinese banks in Hong Kong, has deployed Thales’s SafeSign to enable token-based two-factor authentication for its retail e-banking customers. As one of the first local banks in Hong Kong to deploy token-based two-factor authentication, Wing Lung Bank now meets the Hong Kong Monetary Authority directive which states that single-factor authentication for high-risk transactions is no longer adequate in the face of rising online security threats.
The Thales SafeSign two-factor authentication solution, which went live in December 2006, has been deployed within Wing Lung Bank’s NET Banking service (retail banking). Thales’s SafeSign solution was selected by Wing Lung Bank due to its scalability, flexibility and ease of integration with Wing Lung Bank’s existing e-banking system. In addition to SafeSign’s ability to support the use of hardware tokens – Wing Lung Bank’s current authentication tool – the security solution can easily support other forms of authentication which might be used in the future such as smart cards, SMS and e-certificates.
Based on the SafeSign architecture and Vasco hand-held tokens, Thales worked closely with Wing Lung Bank to design and implement the two-factor authentication system. Thales ensured SafeSign integrated seamlessly with the bank’s existing and future applications whilst dramatically reducing development time and cost. Within six months, Thales helped to plan and implement a system that offers a highly scalable, resilient and extensible platform for the authentication of Wing Lung Bank’s customers.
Fernando Yu, Head of the Electronic Banking Department, Wing Lung Bank Limited, said: “We believe that enhanced online banking security is the key to our long-term profitability. Thales’s strong heritage and experience within the security and finance industries worldwide, combined with the ability to offer a flexible and scalable solution to meet our future requirements, made them a natural choice as our security solution provider.”
Richard Mallett, Managing Director, of Thales Transport & Security activities in Hong Kong, added: “Internet banking forms a key element of many banks’ future business strategy and a loss of customer confidence in this transaction channel can have a serious financial impact in the long-term. Banks have an obligation and a business interest in ‘knowing’ their customers and ensuring that customers have every confidence in the communication channels and security solutions that they provide. The implementation of SafeSign at Wing Lung Bank will provide e-banking customers with the highest levels of security, as well as being easy and convenient to use.”