Digital payments security provider V-Key will protect the cloud-based payments network of Ant Financial Services Group (Alipay) with its virtual secure element software.

The V-OS software will protect Ant Financial's transactions on AliExpress, one of the Alibaba Group's international retail commerce platforms, and the Alipay mobile payment service. Ant Financial operates as part of the Alibaba Group e-commerce giant.

Singapore-based V-Key touts the V-OS software as the first virtual secure element for mobile payments, providing a virtual hardware container for secure cryptographic processing and storage of cryptographic keys. The company's other services, such as V-TAP for mobile payment tokenization, operate on top of the V-OS secure element.

"As more users opt for mobile payments, account safety assumes utmost importance," Jason Lu, vice president of fraud risk management at Ant Financial, said in a Nov. 14 press release. "V-Key's unique technology helps us deploy our risk engine to enhance mobile security."

Bloomberg News

V-Key deploys the V-OS software at banks and mobile payment providers globally, allowing businesses to deploy cloud-based payments, trusted digital identity, secure authentication and encrypted cardholder data for mobile banking and payment applications.

The mobile security software works on both iOS and Android devices, eliminating the need for clients to use any form of hardware secure elements, which V-Key views as less secure.

“With the rapid uptake in mobile payments, e-commerce threats are becoming smarter, bigger and more sophisticated," Benjamin Mah, co-founder and CEO of V-Key said in the release. "They pose a threat not just to end-users, but also to the reputation of our partners."

Because of that, V-Key has invested time and effort to build a virtual mobile cyber security suite of solutions, Mah added.

Ant Financial, Core Security Technologies, Underwriters Laboratories Transaction Security, MWR InfoSecurity and several others have tested and certified V-Key's security software, the company said.

Ant Financial has had a minority stake in V-Key for two years, after supporting the security provider with a $12 million investment.

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