Verisign released a free iPhone app named…
VIP Access (iTunes link)
…that provides a time-synced random sequence of 6-digits to provide an additional layer of authentication (in addition to your password) for services like eBay, PayPal, AOL, and GEICO. The New York Times’ Saul Hansell has a good overview article about it here…
What’s the Password? Only Your iPhone Knows
Note that the initial VIP Access screen correctly obtained my phone’s number and placed it in the blank space you see in the screenshot above. I erased it for obvious reasons 🙂
Here’s a pair of items that I’ll add to the discussion mix:
1. The VIP Access app does NOT work on a 1st generation iPod touch (even with its firmware upgraded to the current version). It does not show up in the touch’s app pages at all even though iTunes lists it as installed on the desktop.
2. I already use PayPal’s secure football device ($5 one time cost) that provides the same kind of time-sequenced 6 random digits used to enhance authentication security. I’m not sure what happens if you try to use both VIP Access and the PayPal football with the same account. And, I’m not even going to try it before asking either Verisign or PayPal about possible consequences.
I really like the PayPal football even though it makes me work a bit harder to make a transaction. And, I think this Verisign VIP Access app will be a very popular one. If you are concerned about online purchases through services like PayPal, you definitely want to do a bit of research about this new app.