Banks Urged to Secure Online Banking

Former White House adviser Richard Clarke urged U.S. banks to introduce new technologies for identifying customers banking via the Internet. Speaking to the annual conference of the Smart Card Alliance trade group in San Francisco, Clarke said that banks do not like to admit that there are security problems with any of their services. But he says consumer fears about security limit online banking to only about a third of the customers of most U.S. banks. Clarke said financial-services firms can stand out by offering more security, and praised America Online for recently inviting subscribers to use security tokens from Bedford, MA-based RSA Security Inc. to log on to AOL. "By being a first mover in security, companies are beginning to increase their market share," Clarke said. He predicted that in 10 years every American will carry two or three smart cards, which they will use for Internet access and a variety of other purposes.