Citigroup Pilots Personal Digital Signatures with SWIFT for Payments
SIBOS, October 11, 2006, Sydney, Australia Global Transaction Services, a business of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, and SWIFT announce the successful completion of a proof of concept using double digital signatures for payments via the SWIFTNet FileAct service, using the IdenTrust platform as a second signature in addition to the SWIFT PKI security. The joint pilot is the first step in a global project designed to implement corporate payments by using personally signed files — payment or other — using a binding, interoperable identity deployment based on the IdenTrust platform.
Digital Signatures and SWIFTNet
The pilot involved sending payment instructions — via SWIFTNet using FileAct and SWIFTNET PKI Security — signed with a globally interoperable and non-reputable personal digital signature. Citigroup issued an IdenTrust digital certificate to Danone, a world leader in the food industry based in France. Using CashPooler, a full web Payment Factory developed by DataLog Finance, an authorized employee at Danone signed a payment file and sent it via SWIFTNet FileAct to Citigroup.
End to End Process and Bank Interoperability
To demonstrate global bank interoperability, BNP Paribas also participated in this proof of concept as a relying bank. Danone sent a second signed payments file via FileAct using the same Citigroup-issued IdenTrust certificate. BNP Paribas was able to validate and rely on the personal digital certificate received within the payment instruction. This action demonstrated that an IdenTrust digital certificate is binding, globally interoperable and can be used throughout the SWIFT Community.
Improved Visibility and Control — Linking Authorized Individuals to Transactions
"Utilizing digital signatures in payment instructions gives our clients greater visibility and control over transactions," said Gary E. Greenwald, Global Head of Information Products, Global Transaction Services, Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking. "This proof-of-concept effort underscores the important role that banks are playing in helping their corporate clients meet their compliance needs relating to high value transactions. Through the cooperation of IdenTrust and SWIFT, it opens the door to a much broader adoption of this type of solution by banks and corporations."
The pilot reinforced the power of the SWIFT network to provide a secure, reliable method of transfer for payments and information for both banks and corporations.
"To truly authenticate the identity of originators and receivers of high-value electronic transactions, financial institutions require a consistent set of policies that are legally binding and globally interoperable for authenticating and validating identities," said Karen Wendel, Chief Executive Officer, IdenTrust. "The proof of concept with Citigroup shows that it is possible for such a framework to exist today. It takes the security of SWIFT a step further — to allow identification at the individual level and to even identify specific transactions associated with a certificate."
"We are pleased to have participated in this important proof of concept with Citigroup and IdenTrust," said Johan Kestens, Head of Marketing, SWIFT. "This effort underscores the viability of the SWIFT network and security infrastructure adding value and trust between our global bank members and their end clients."
Citigroup (NYSE: C), the leading global financial services company has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Major brand names under Citigroup's trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney and Banamex. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com
Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking
Our Corporate and Investment Banking group achieves the extraordinary for our clients around the world. No financial institution is more committed to understanding and advancing the goals of its clients – our diverse and talented staff in some 100 countries advises companies, governments, and institutional investors on the best way to realize their strategic objectives. We create solutions for and provide the broadest possible capital and market access to thousands of issuer and investor clients, and no institution better executes the increasingly complex payment and cash management solutions required in today's global economy. Core business lines under Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking include Global Capital Markets, Global Banking and Global Transaction Services.