The ‘Key’ to Online Chip-and-PIN Purchases

March 19, 2015

The ‘Key’ to Online Chip-and-PIN Purchases A Phoenix-based startup called uQontrol yesterday launched a new product enabling a secure chip-and-PIN-like experience for online purchases. Qkey is a device the company will sell to consumers that fits in a USB port of a desktop, laptop or tablet. The device, which looks like a key and will fit on a key ring, is a chip loaded with the consumer’s payment card information and favorite shopping Websites. When inserted in a computer or tablet, the device opens a dedicated browser and, after the user chooses their items, asks which card the shopper wants to use. The system then asks for a PIN the user enters through a mobile app. The transaction is completed by touching the key.

“After extensive research and development it became clear that the key to online security is literally a key—keys and cards are the worlds most trusted and familiar security devices,” said Christopher Maus, founder and chief executive officer of uQontrol. “Just like chip-and-PIN cards are being introduced this year to secure retail transactions, we created a chip-and-PIN key with the same microchip technology to make online purchases more secure.”

Users also can make m-commerce transactions on NFC-enabled mobile devices by tapping the Qkey device to the smartphone to initiate the transaction. uQontrol is offering the Qkey to consumers on a presale basis through its Website at $69. The company said the device will retail for $129.