As payment companies add more mobile applications to accept transactions and speed processing, authentication will become more complex, says Todd Wilkinson, CEO of Datacard, which plans to bolster its identity technology  for government and financial services clients via its acquisition of Entrust

"Our financial services customers, along with our government customers, are looking for ways to secure transactions on mobile devices," Wilkinson said during a Dec. 17 conference call to discuss the acquisition. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

Wilkinson and Dave Wagner, Entrust's senior vice president and chief financial officer, both cited Entrust's work with Swift as an example of the scale that Entrust can bring to Datacard's suite of identity management services.  Swift is working on an initiative to increase processing speed to accommodate mobile payments.

"Swift manages $16 trillion in transactions per day on an exchange platform [managed] by Entrust," says Wagner, who will become president of the Entrust unit that will operate within Datacard.

Entrust provides secure socket layer certificates that are used to manage identity risk for digital transactions. It also provides installation support and was one of the developers of public key infrastructure, which is used to manage identity and protect user data. The company's clients in the financial card issuing sector include Citibank, Bank of New Zealand and Banco Santander. 

Datacard manages  issuance of ID cards, payment cards and passports for a mix of government, financial services and business clients.  The company's services include embossing, printing, fulfillment and mobile commerce services.

"The paths of our companies have intertwined, we've served the same clients, but we want to help clients reduce complexity," Wilkinson says.

Entrust's cloud-delivered identity management technology is also attractive, Wilkinson said. "We want to bring to market an offering that enables customers to choose a deployment model that fits with their business," he says, adding there will likely still be clients that prefer an on-premise system over cloud delivery. 

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