A fledgling mobile banking vendor is seeking a boost in this emerging market by offering customer authentication technology from a well-known provider.

The Swiss software company Vasco Data Security International Inc. announced Tuesday that MoadBus Inc. of McLean, Va., would incorporate its Digipass technology to provide authentication and digital signature capabilities in MoadBus' MBanking and Mobile-Cash applications.

MoadBus, which was established in 2005 by several veterans of Fiserv Inc.'s CBS Worldwide unit, said the Vasco technology could set it apart from other mobile banking vendors.

Kurian Abraham, MoadBus' president, said the Digipass application has already been integrated into his company's software to generate a one-time password that can protect against "man-in-the-middle attacks" and cyberattacks.

"We saw it as a potential concern for a lot of our prospects," Abraham said in an interview Tuesday.

MoadBus claims customers across the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Australia, but Abraham said many of those are custom software projects. The company has a handful of mobile banking and payment customers, primarily in the Caribbean and Latin American markets, he said.

Kevin Donovan, Vasco's vice president of business development, said MoadBus is his company's first announced mobile banking partnership.

Donovan also cited the threat of man-in-the-middle attacks, in which an unauthorized snooper picks up an online customer's password information. In this implementation, the handset becomes an authentication token.

Ever-changing one-time passwords not only provide an additional degree of authentication, but also put a distinct signature on individual transactions, Donovan said. "The best way to defend against that is to sign these transactions."

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