Banking Partners

How bank security protocols help keep the data safe

Victor Mithouard
March 2023
min read

Payment orders require the utmost security measures to ensure that transactions are secure. With the introduction of faster and irrevocable payment systems such as SEPA Instant Credit Transfer, banks have implemented various protocols and standards to protect their customers' payments. These include secure connectivity channels and security protocols to guarantee a safe transaction process for all parties involved.

In this article, we will explore the main security protocols banks employ to secure the transfer of payment orders with their customers.

Authentifying with SSL/eIDAS certificates

eIDAS certificates are digital credentials issued by a trust service provider ( that is approved and regulated by the European Union. These certificates provide secure access to online services, such as digital banking, e-commerce, and e-government services. They also allow for secure data exchange between organizations and citizens across EU member states. 

eIDAS certificates are designed to meet the highest security and authentication standards set by the EU in its eIDAS Regulation, which seeks to ensure the unrestricted flow of electronic transactions across borders within the EU. An eIDAS certificate contains information about the identity of an entity or individual – like a name, place of residence, or legal status – that can be used to authenticate a person or organization's identity when they are making an online transaction.

The use of eIDAS certificates is mandatory for certain types of online transactions involving citizens or businesses in different countries within the EU. The issuance and use of these certificates must follow strict guidelines set out in the EU's eIDAS Regulation to ensure uniformity throughout Europe and protect users from fraudulent activities. The regulation also allows for mutual recognition of trust services among all member states, so that any certificate issued by a TSP in one country will be accepted as valid authenticity evidence within other countries as well.

Encryption/decryption with PGP Keys

PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) keys are a type of encryption technology that provides an additional layer of security for payment instructions. It is based on public-key cryptography, which means that it uses two different keys – one private and one public – to encrypt and decrypt messages. The private key is kept secret by the owner and must be used to decrypt the message. The public key, on the other hand, is shared with others so that they can encrypt messages that only the owner can read using the private key.

When used for payment instructions, PGP keys help ensure secure transactions by providing an extra layer of protection against malicious actors. PGP keys also provide digital signatures to verify the authenticity of the message sender and make sure that it hasn’t been tampered with during transit using hashing algorithms such as SHA-256. This helps protect customers from fraudulent or unauthorized payment orders as well as ensure data integrity.

PGP keys are a powerful tool for providing secure authentication and protecting customer data when processing payment orders. With its advanced encryption algorithms, multi-factor authentication options, and digital signature verification capabilities, banks can guarantee secure transactions while protecting their customers from potentially malicious actors.

Signing with 3SKeys

3SKeys is a secure e-signature authentication platform developed by SWIFT. It is used to authenticate and process transactions securely. 3SKeys allows customers and banks to securely store their credentials, such as passwords and digital IDs, when signing a transaction. 3SKey tokens contain a unique, anonymous identifier that each bank assigns independently to their customers. They use a trusted Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to guarantee transactions are authentic, unaltered and legally binding.

With 3SKey, financial institutions can offer interoperability with other banks while maintaining control of the user identity registration process. 3SKey tokens contain a unique, anonymous identifier that each bank independently registers and assigns to their customers.

3SKeys also provide multi-factor authentication. On top of proof of possession (the 3Skey), customers may be asked to enter additional information validating either proof of knowledge (such as a security question or a password) or proof of inherence (such as biometric data). By implementing these extra layers of security, banks can ensure that only authorized parties can access sensitive customer data and process payment orders.

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