Mechanicsville bank adopts innovative identity protection

Customers' bank accounts to be secured with digital security elements

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An Eastern Iowa bank early this year will become the first financial institution in the nation to adopt an identity protection system that incorporates a digital representation of a customer.

Bridge Community Bank of Mechanicsville, with branches in Mount Vernon and Solon, will offer existing and new account holders Financial ICONN, developed by TASCET Inc. of Madison, Wis.

To create their Financial ICONN, customers provide the bank with their name, address, date and country of birth and gender along with two digital fingerprints and a digital photograph. The information, created with devices at the bank, is transmitted to TASCET, which will process it to create a digital identity for the customer.

When the customer activates the Financial ICONN, a 16-digit financial security number is assigned and incorporated into his or her account. When a customer wants to access that account, the digital image and a digital fingerprint will be matched by TASCET to determine identity.

"Protecting our customers’ identities and assets is always our No. 1 priority," said Bob Steen, chief executive officer of Bridge Community Bank. "The Financial ICONN approach eliminates many of the hurdles associated with identity.

"At the end of the day, both the consumer and the bank have the highest degree of confidence in knowing who is on each end of the transaction."

Before the rollout of the new system, Bridge Community Bank will launch a customer awareness campaign that will highlight the importance of securing their identity with the Financial ICONN activation process, Steen said.

Larry Aubol, CEO of TASCET, said the 16-digit financial security number also will strengthen Bridge Community Bank's compliance with federal anti-money laundering, Know Your Customer and Bank Secrecy Act regulations.

Aubol said it also will provide a foundation for securing mobile financial transactions involving smartphones and tablets.

TASCET also offers similar ICONN identification systems for health, academic and government applications.

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