As the security of IoT devices has become more and more of a problem, Visa and Intel are forming an alliance to make payments from those devices more secure and trustworthy.
The partnership has two separate components: adding Visa’s encryption technology to devices that use Intel’s chipsets, and hardware-level device authentication to ensure that payments are coming from approved devices. Many users are now making payments from a variety of devices, including PCs, phones, and even watches. While that’s convenient for users, merchants and payment processors have the added difficulty of finding a way to make sure that those payments are are authentic and authorized.
The collaboration between Visa and Intel will provide encryption technology on embedded devices and allow the Intel chips to serve as a root of trust for those devices. Payment data will be encrypted before it’s sent to merchants for processing, making it useless for attackers who may be able to grab it during transmission.
“The rise of connected devices will rapidly expand the platforms we use to shop and pay. It will also open up new entry points for hackers,” Mark Nelsen, senior vice president of risk and authentication products at Visa, said in a statement. “Tackling this security challenge requires a new level of coordination between players in payments, technology and computing. Working with Intel, we’re ensuring that the next generation of payment devices have security hardwired at the ground level.”
In addition to the encryption capability, Visa and Intel plan to use their partnership to help identify trusted devices during payment transactions. The hardware-level scheme will attach a device-specific code to each PC, phone, or other device, which card issuers can use as a component in the process of deciding whether to approve a transaction. That technology will be embedded in Intel’s 7th Gen Intel Core systems.
In a relatively short period of time, payments have moved from person-to-person transactions to mainly device-to-device interactions, making authentication and authorization a much more challenging process. Hardware-based authentication and security can help address these problems by taking weak software out of the equation.