CoVantage Credit Union Pilots Tyfone’s Connected Smart Card for Layered Security in Mobile Banking


Tyfone CSC pilot enables unparalleled NIST 800-164 compliant hardware-based security for any transaction on any mobile device

Tyfone (, a secure ID and transaction solutions provider, today announced that its patented technology under the brand name of The Connected Smart Card™ (CSC™) is being tested by CoVantage Credit Union. Tyfone’s CSC provides unparalleled security for CoVantage Credit Unions’ business banking members, vastly improving the security of members’ passwords and securing all their mobile banking transactions.

Various cyber security threats put everyone at risk. One rapidly emerging problem is the threat to passwords being compromised. The inherent flaw in password systems, irrespective of static password or multi-factor one-time-password tokens, is when a user submits her password, the centralized cyber service has to instantly decipher system access or not. For this request-response to work, the centralized service has to store bulk information about all of the user’s passwords within it and is increasingly becoming a lucrative target as computation power to hack passwords has become cheaper. Deloitte Consulting predicts that 90 percent of user-generated passwords, even strong passwords, will be vulnerable to hacking this year. Wired published that 280 million passwords have been compromised in the recent months.

CSC Tackles Emerging Issues of Cybercrime, Privacy and Financial Transactions

Unlike other security approaches, Tyfone’s CSC technology is carried by each user and adds a smart card chip to any device in several convenient form factors. It enables the storage of digital certificates for a two-sided request-challenge-response to every authentication request, instead of the simple one-way request-response. This unique process allows for secure point-to-point ID authentication without bulk storage of user information in the server. All user authentication information is stored with the user in her CSC hardware. This secure point-to-point ID authentication also results in two end-points that trust each other. This trust enables an extra layer of data cryptography (using CSC) to secure transactions even through unsecure networks, e.g. public Wi-Fi.

Tyfone’s solution meets recent Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidelines that indicate the need for layered security that goes beyond multi-factor authentication commonly in use today. A Tyfone customer since 2011, CoVantage Credit Union (with locations in North Central Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) has successfully been using Tyfone’s mobile money movement solutions and is piloting CSC hardware and software transaction platform for a new level of member security without requiring biometrics that create a host of new privacy issues.

“We originally chose Tyfone as our mobile banking provider because, unlike any other vendor, their IP and know-how adds smart card based security to any device, while also supporting the emerging adoption of smart card based EMV for payments in the U.S.,” said Robert Van Abel, CIO at CoVantage. “We believe Tyfone’s CSC solution, coupled with the work Tyfone is doing with In-Q-Tel for the U.S. government, reflects hardware that bi-directionally secures both ID and transactions will soon be essential for all entities, not just financial services. We were concerned that CoVantage would have to sacrifice either cost or aspects of security we wanted to deploy. By choosing the Tyfone CSC solution we met all our criteria for security and convenience, on top of a low total cost of ownership.”

About the CoVantage/Tyfone CSC Pilot

The CoVantage/Tyfone CSC pilot will be initially based on Tyfone’s SideSafe™ microSD cards for Android mobile phones. CoVantage employees and select business members will be the first to use the CSC solution. The goals for the pilot are to demystify the trade-off between security and convenience, and prove that layered security is necessary to manage specific high-value banking transactions, particularly given the significant increase in mobile device-based transactions. The pilot is being deployed on Corporate IT issued devices and will migrate to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and consumer devices at the end of the pilot period. Post-pilot deployments will add Tyfone’s SideKey™ key chain hidden and/or wearable devices that will work with any mobile phone, tablet or PC. Communication protocols may be NFC or Bluetooth, and commercial offerings will have a menu of form factors for institutions to choose from.

According to Mark Miyamoto, director of mobile banking at Tyfone, “enhanced security is the natural advancement in mobile banking. Everyone, bad guys included, is aware that mobile is revolutionizing business operations in all capacities, making mobile services a natural target as mobile financial services enable more sophisticated and high-risk transactions. CoVantage is at the forefront of implementing this next generation of mobile device-based transactions, proactively defining the boundaries of security, risk mitigation and convenience using defined open standards to scale across all members. CoVantage leadership should be credited with drawing a meaningful line between pragmatism and innovation. By utilizing the forward-thinking technology in Tyfone’s CSC platform, CoVantage is addressing the most pressing security issues facing mobile today, while thinking ahead to what services and transactions their members and the financial industry will require down the road.”

CSC at Money2020
Tyfone will showcase CSC at booth 616 at the Money2020 conference held in Las Vegas, October 6-10, at the Aria Resort & Casino. A video introduction to CSC is available at

About Tyfone 

Tyfone is a pioneer in mobile security and transaction services for financial, government, B2B, healthcare, and other enterprises. It has more than 450 issued invention claims and has more than 90 issued and pending patents that enable ID and transaction security on any mobile device. Tyfone’s mobile apps, transaction software and Connected Smart Card (CSC) security hardware enable ID and transaction security on any mobile OS or device. The company’s mobile solution has processed over 20 million transactions and has helped transact over $300 million. Tyfone customers include 2 of the top 10 member-owned financial institutions (Credit Unions) in the U.S. and the company recently signed a strategic agreement with In-Q-Tel to bring Tyfone’s mobile security solutions to the U.S. Government. Tyfone has its corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon and its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Bangalore, the “Silicon Valley of India.”

Tyfone, the Connected Smart Card, CSC, SideSafe, SideTap, SideKey, SideBand and u4ia are trademarks of Tyfone, Inc. All others names are the property of their respective owners.


Paula Larson
Mobility Public Relations
Mobile: +1-408-504-9341
Tyfone on Twitter: @Tyfone

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