Toronto-based startup SecureKey Technologies Inc. is going to provide user authentication for the MintChip, the Royal Canadian Mint’s first foray into mobile payments.
The startup will be building a security layer on top of the MintChip, a cloud-based digital currency stored on a microSD card. The Mint created it to allow consumers to pay for transactions by installing a mobile app on their smartphones and tapping them against a point-of-sales terminal. However, not every smartphone can use the MintChip, as it requires the ability to use near field communication technology – meaning Apple devices won’t work with it.
The Mint rolled out its first pilot program for the MintChip in January, though it plans to bring it to other merchants later this year.
To prevent hackers from gaining access to consumers’ money through the MintChip, SecureKey is installing its briidge.net Connect Mobile software development kit (SDK) onto the mobile app.
Before a consumer goes to pay for something, he or she will have to punch in a four-digit QuickCode PIN. It’s similar to what users do with debit and credit cards, but instead of working with just one card, the QuickCode PIN works across more than one mobile device, and even laptops, desktop PCs, and wearable tech. That allows consumers to pay using the same PIN both in a physical store and while shopping online – something that’s touted as being both convenient and secure.
“We are excited to be supporting the Royal Canadian Mint on this innovative digital currency initiative. It offers an excellent example of how our briidge.net Connect service can make the benefits of strong multi-factor authentication available in an extremely friendly way for consumer-facing mobile apps,” said Charles Walton, CEO at SecureKey, in a statement.
“Instead of confronting the complexity of keys, certificates and other inconveniences, MintChip consumers will simply enter their QuickCode PIN on their mobile device to authenticate to their MintChip cloud account.”
SecureKey currently provides services to customers like government agencies, banks, and financial services, with customers including the federal government and MasterCard’s MasterPass digital commerce platform.