The ASB Bank looks set to launch Internet banking later this month, using full 128-bit encryption sourced from Europe.
The bank is still keeping tight-lipped about the details, but says the encryption has come from a Swiss company.
Further details will be announced when the Internet banking service is actually launched.
The service will be a full transactional service, akin to what customers can now do with telephone banking.
The ASB looked at both home-grown products and overseas technology from the UK and Europe when deciding on encryption.
During that time both Microsoft and Netscape Communications received permission from the US government to export software that includes 128-bit encryption technology to banks worldwide for protection of online financial transactions.
The ASB says that announcement doesn’t affect its plans.
In its Internet banking pilot, involving several hundred staff members, it has used the Edify Electronic Workforce system distributed by Parkers’ Edge.
Parkers’ Edge has, with Cardinal Networks, linked the ASB Web page to the bank’s Linc software running on a legacy mainframe Unisys host. The bank cannot yet say what it will be using when it officially kicks off the service.
Eagle Technology announced recently that it would use 128-bit encryption for its Superstore Web site, as part of a pilot with the ASB Bank.
Another on-line shopping service, the Great New Zealand Shopping Mall, which provides online grocery shopping to Aucklanders, uses a direct debit system rather than online credit card payments.
However, Andrew Faris of Ad Pacifica, which developed the Great New Zealand Shopping Mall system, says the mall is likely to be an early adopter of the latest encryption technology but wants to ensure it’s thoroughly tested and robust first.
He says the direct debit system is working well, but online credit card payments will be considered as an option in future.
Cybermall coordinator Mark Stevens says Cybermall uses an Apache SSL secure server with 40-bit encryption. He says Cybermall has a number of projects underway which will require a higher level of security and which will utilise the latest encryption technology. However, it is happy with the level of encryption it has at the moment.
Stevens says thousands of dollars are spent online each month and there have been no problems.
If people feel uncomfortable about using their credit card online, they can always fax an order.