TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Toronto based SecureKey Technologies Inc. today announced that it has been awarded a contract by the Government of Canada to provide an innovative Credential Broker Service (CBS) that will allow Canadians to use their bank authentication credentials to obtain access to online government services. To ensure privacy protection, users of the CBS will authenticate through their bank but neither their login credentials nor the identity of their bank will be shared with the Government of Canada. Similarly, no information about the government service being accessed by the user will be shared with the user's bank.
The new service is part of the Government of Canada's Cyber Authentication Renewal initiative and leverages SecureKey's authentication solutions, which enable banks, credit card issuers, governments and healthcare providers to extend the security capabilities of chip-based payment and identity cards to their mobile and online offerings.
"We are thrilled to have been selected, through a competitive process, by the Government of Canada to provide this unique service", said SecureKey Technologies Inc, CEO Greg Wolfond, "This partnership between government and industry lays the foundation for an ecosystem that will offer increased choice and ease of use for consumers and businesses accessing secure online services."
Management of security credentials is a constant challenge for online government services which are used periodically, as website-specific user ID's and passwords are often forgotten. SecureKey's new authentication service will allow consumers to access government services using their online banking login credentials or, if offered by their bank, by tapping their bank-issued chip card on one of SecureKey's easy-to-use USB card readers or, in future, on a SecureKey-enabled laptop or mobile device.
To provide consumer choice and broad national coverage for the launch of the service, three of Canada's largest banks, BMO Financial Group, TD Bank Group and Scotiabank have been selected as the inaugural credential providers. These banks offer unparalleled authentication capabilities that will make customer access to online government services much easier.
"We are pleased to be able to offer our customers safe, secure and convenient online access to government programs and services," said Mike Henry, Scotiabank's Senior Vice-President and Head of Canadian Retail Payments, Deposits and Lending. "So many websites require login information, making it easy to forget a few every now and then. With this service, our customers won't have to worry about remembering another user ID and password because they will be able to easily access government services online using what they already use with us. This will give them the peace of mind that their personal information is securely protected."
"BMO sees this as a natural extension of services we offer to our customers. Our participation gives customers a secure, simple, and trusted verification process for accessing government sites and also levers the investments we have already made in chip and contactless technology to create a safe & sound environment for banking and payments," said Mike Kitchen, SVP, P&C Products, BMO Bank of Montreal.
"SecureKey's credential service will offer our customers a powerful combination of security and convenience when accessing their government accounts online," said Paal Kaperdal, SVP, Online Banking, TD Bank Group. "This is an innovative approach by both government and industry to improve an essential service for Canadians, and another way that TD can fulfill our promise of delivering a more comfortable banking experience to our customers."
The CBS will go live in 2012 and will be made available to all Government of Canada Departments and Agencies.