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KB Bank, South Korea’s largest bank with ten million customers, has struck a deal with UK fintech Trustonic to make its mobile banking app more secure.

The bank has implemented the fintech’s Trustonic Application Protection (TAP) solution, which allows the bank to issue its own public certificates from inside the app.

Korean banking markets have taken cybersecurity more seriously than those in Europe and North America

Trustonic says Korean banking markets have taken cybersecurity more seriously than those in Europe and North America.

Traditionally, Korea has required its citizens to regularly renew their certificates somewhere outside their bank.

By allowing KB Bank to store these certificates securely in the ‘KB Star Banking’ app, Trustonic removes a “significant friction” from the customer authentication process.

Certificates held by KB Bank users will only need to be renewed if customers revoke them or don’t use them for more than a year.

“KB Bank are taking a more open market approach by actually creating their own certificates rather than relying on a government agency or third-party,” Trustonic’s marketing VP Tim Hodkinson tells FinTech Futures.

“Korean banking markets have taken cybersecurity and application protection – we think – more seriously than those financial service institutions in Europe and North America.”

Hodkinson puts this focus on security down to Korea being home to a nation of early mobile banking adopters.

Their banking apps offer far more functionality and facilitate far higher in-app transaction values. For example, up to SEK 500 million ($413,000) can be sent through the app in a single transaction after being verified by a password, PIN and automated phone call.

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