European Group Working on Stronger Authentication for Online Transactions

July 2, 2015

European Group Working on Stronger Authentication for Online Transactions Recently, a consortium of payment and security technology providers unveiled a new organization that will be working toward higher security standards for online and mobile payments. The MIDAS (Mobile IDentity Authentication Standard) Alliance will lean on industry collaboration to come up with standards enabling companies to comply with e-commerce security guidelines announced last December by the European Banking Authority (EBA) requiring stronger authentication methods for online transactions.

These regulations go into effect in less than a month and it became clear quickly, according to Andrew Churchill, secretary of the MIDAS Alliance, that industry is going to have to cooperate if anyone is to be ready to implement stronger authentication methods that work and are cost-effective.

“This is regulatory driven because the industry doesn’t know how to comply with the forthcoming standards,” said Churchill, a former consultant and adviser to U.K. and E.U. governments on cybercrime and cyber terrorism. He notes that organizations will have to be ready to implement multifactor authentication and that biometrics will probably be employed in some way.

Founding members include Experian, FICO and Facebanx and the alliance is actively seeking to bolster its membership. While the group began in Europe, Churchill notes that the need for stronger online authentication is universal and he expects cooperation with U.S. companies and groups. In the U.S. the FIDO Alliance has been doing similar work and Churchill said discussions between the two groups have already occurred, although no formal arrangement to work together has been agreed upon. The MIDAS Alliance will hold its first public meeting on July 10 in London.