Enter the alternative: NFC-TAN. Bernd-Josef Kohl, Head of International Business Consulting the IT solutions provider GFT, explains the principle: “The bank’s customers are shown a code on their computer, which they then scan with their smartphone. To do this, all they need is an app from their bank.” The customer then holds their debit card next to their smartphone and they are automatically provided with a TAN. “NFC is ideal for transmitting data between a debit card and a smartphone. To a certain extent, the mobile works like a chip. It doesn’t even need reception. Everything is contactless, which means added security,” states Kohl.
Another benefit to customers is that there are almost no extra costs, assuming they own a relatively modern mobile phone. Currently, one in four purchased smartphones already uses NFC to share data. In parallel to this, numerous banks are planning to introduce NFC-enabled debit cards in the near future. The German savings bank, Sparkasse, has already been using this solution as standard since last year.
The University of Tübingen was quick off the mark when it registered the patent for this innovative system four years ago. Students at the university have been continuously optimising the system ever since. The collaboration with GFT helped move the project into the fast lane. The two parties agreed to split responsibilities, with the University of Tübingen carrying out all development work on the software and making technical adjustments to the chip, while GFT looked after acquisition and the consulting of potential clients. “We consider the detailed application options within the client setting and carry out testing and prototyping,” states Kohl.
The collaboration is still only in its twelfth month. Dr. Bernd Borchert of the Wilhelm Schickard Institute at Tübingen University first met Bernd Kohl at last year’s CeBIT, where they hit upon the idea to start collaborating. “Transferring know-how out of research into business practice only really works when the partners who join forces are steadfastly pursuing a common goal. With this collaboration, it’s worked splendidly,” states Borchert. The collaboration project has the backing of the Technology Transfer Office at Tübingen University.