SA cyber security firm fights mobile payment breaches

Entersekt CEO Schalk Nolte.
Entersekt CEO Schalk Nolte.

Cape Town – With the convergence of mobile technology as the key to all payments, the focus on cyber security has helped a South African firm expand exponentially over the last seven years.

Stellenbosch based firm Entersekt, founded in 2010, is on a crusade to ensure all mobile banking service providers are not lagging behind the times with security. And they have a stern warning for those falling behind.

CEO Schalk Nolte and his brother Dewald Nolte, a co-founder and head of partnerships and alliances, have been part of the team that has rolled out Entersekt's cyber security software in 45 countries.

“Our focus this year will be to expand in Southern Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa,” Schalk Nolte explained in a Fin24 interview.

Schalk Nolte warned that some banks, insurance firms and online service providers are not using the latest technology to prevent fraud and theft.

“Quite a number of players globally are simply not taking security standards seriously,” he said. “They are still relying on information like an SMS OTP (one-time password),” he said. “We still have certain banks doing that.”

WATCH: Interview with Schalk Nolte and Dewald Nolte (part 1)

Entersekt had four million transactions a day in SA in 2016

Entersekt has seen a rapid expansion in 2016, with four million transactions a day in South Africa using their software.

“It’s been phenomenal,” said Schalk Nolte. “From a financial side, last year we doubled our revenue in dollar terms. We plan on doing that again in a few years’ time through expansion. We are very excited where tech is going.”  

Regarding the take up of banking mobile apps, he said 2016 was the equivalent of the previous three years. 

“It has just become the norm,” he said. “Certain banks don’t allow you to open a bank account without having a mobile banking application. It’s just such a cheap channel in terms of functionality and also in terms of cost.

“Most of our customer banks are aiming for at least 50% of their customer base, whereas if you look at internet banking it’s 8% to 10%. Some of them are actually closer to 80%.”

Entersekt enables the mobile so customers “can trust what you do … with financial services, insurance (and) the internet of things”.

WATCH: Interview with Schalk Nolte and Dewald Nolte (part 2)

Massive boost in Entersekt type systems

Dewald Nolte said Gartner predicted that the authentication systems Entersekt deploys will be used by 80% of the world market by 2020, up from 10% today.

“It shows that South Africa from a financial services point of view (is) … quite on the lead with that,” he said.  

“Authentication and services are moving to the mobile,” he said. “It is becoming the centrepiece of everything that we do. More and more services are moving towards that.”

Apart from using your mobile to pay for things, Dewald Nolte sees converged services increasing.

“Traditional battlegrounds (are) becoming grey at the moment,” he said.

“If you look at some of the telcos (telecommunication companies) moving into banking, Amazon is moving from online into the real world.

“I think this year is going to be interesting in that space, where there is going to be disruption in terms of mobile services coming out. Suddenly someone in the US is competing with you here, where before it wasn’t really possible.

“As we move to mobile, one of the key things that we need to take into account is of course security,” he said. “Using security as that base layer of enablement is going to come into focus: the phone as the centre of the security universe to enable everything from that mobile phone.”

WATCH: Interview with Schalk Nolte and Dewald Nolte (part 3)


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