A Toronto-based firm has launched a new service that will allow companies to confirm the identity of their employees and customers using smartphones and third-party profiles, while keeping privacy in tact.
SecureKey Technologies Inc. announced its bridge.net platform is open for business this morning. It offers businesses the ability to apply “two factor authentication” to transactions requiring a high level of trust – like in an e-commerce purchase or a bank transfer. The two factors are what you have, a specific chip on a smartphone in your pocket; with what you know, as in your login credentials for a bank account or social media profile.
The company says briidge.net will help to address the pain of forgotten passwords and endless user accounts needed to access services that you need sometimes, but not that often. It’s a way that a business can know that it can trust its users while also allowing them to keep better control over their information and online identity.
SecureKey was recently at the centre of a deal with the big three incumbent phone carriers in Canada. Rogers, Bell, and Telus will be using the technology to allow for cell phone users to pay at retail checkouts by waving their phones in front of wireless receivers. This will be possible on smartphones with near-field communications (NFC) chips such as the BlackBerry Z10 or the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
Now businesses that want to offer their customers a similar capability for services will be able to do so with briidge.net. It could fit in well with a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) type of environment where employees are already toting around their smartphones, tablets, and laptops to get work done. SecureKey points out Intel Ultrabooks equipped with Identity Protection Technology already have this software embedded, and it can be installed over the air onto Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, and BlackBerry platforms.
It’s one more step towards a future where wallets aren’t stuffed full of plastic cards for every service we need, and our smartphones become even more important in our daily lives.