With banks and financial institutions facing a barrage of security challenges as customers move to digital channels, mobile security has become a key priority. Cyber fraud is escalating, and financial services providers are scrambling for new and innovative solutions in the face of a wholesale shift to mobile. Against this backdrop, South Africa’s Stellenbosch-based Entersekt has been gaining major traction with its disruptive approach to authentication and mobile security.
“We started the company over seven years ago, really believing that mobile is the future,” says Entersekt CEO, Schalk Nolte, speaking at AlphaCode’s Future of Crime event in June 2017.
“At the moment, banks have a ‘head on fire’ problem...”
Entersekt has developed user friendly, push-based authentication and app security technology, which tackles the complexity that is usually tied to new security solutions. The fintech innovator has patented security products that secure close to 100 million transactions monthly, with banking clients seeing up to a 99% reduction in mobile fraud losses since adopting the Entersekt solution. According to Nolte, Entersekt’s software is now used in 45 countries within the financial services sector.
“We work with banks to ensure that their channel to customers is safe, and that they can build on that channel going forward,” he noted.
“We believe that banks have a much larger play in the future, they just need to resolve the issue of trust with their consumers – and leverage the trust that already exists within that relationship.”
Although the company has been focusing on financial services, its disruptive approach to mobile security undoubtedly has application in other industries such as insurance and healthcare – where online security is obviously paramount.
With a strong presence in Africa, Europe and the United States, and clients that include the likes of Absa, Nedbank, Capitec, Investec, Swisscard, Equity Bank and Ecobank, Entersekt is now ready to push for the next tier of global growth and expansion.
This expansion will be funded by the recently announced multi-million dollar transaction, in which Rand Merchant Investment Holdings and Nedbank Private Equity (NPE) each acquired minority shareholdings in Entersekt. In addition to expanding its global reach, the capital injection will be used to spur research and development. The investment will be key to driving and supporting the company’s disruptive approach in what is turning out to be a major factor for banks and financial services providers adapting to a mobile-first, digital banking ecosystem.
“In our view, training users [to protect themselves], just doesn’t work,” explained Nolte. “You don’t know who your [banking] customer is. Banks need to ensure that the customer/end user has the tools to remain safe.”
Indeed, as financial services providers look to offer more products and solutions via mobile, ideally over one, secure platform, there is a race to provide seamless, user-friendly and enterprise-grade security solutions that streamline the consumer’s mobile experience. At the same time, however, solutions need to meet increasingly stringent compliance obligations, while also enabling further innovation within digital ecosystems.
This, says Nolte, requires partnering with the right vendors and specialists.
Within banking, the right vendor should ultimately be creating a secure network between each user and the financial services institution. This network then creates trusted channels that can be fully enabled – making sure that users can do anything from their mobile devices in a highly secure environment. Critically, this architecture will enable providers to continuously innovate on top of this secure layer - and bring new products and solutions to market.
Innovation and disruption are certainly at the heart of what Entersekt does, with a team of over 40 specialists and leadership that brings heavyweight experience within technology, financial services and software development.
Nolte joined the fintech company in 2009, armed with experience in managing large-scale mobile technology and network deployments for GSM operators across Africa and the Pacific. His management team includes Gerhard Oosthuizen, CIO, Ronald Mayer, CFO, and founding partner Dewald Nolte, SVP Partnerships and Alliance.
Looking ahead, Entersekt will be focusing on expanding its global footprint while solidifying its current position as a pioneering force in mobile security and future-focused digital ecosystems.