Keyno: Advanced fraud prevention for digital finance

By William Girling
Ben Maxim, Assistant Vice President at MSUFCU, outlines why his company chose Keyno’s dynamic CVVkey product to bolster online security...

A massive increase in digital payments fraud—a direct result of the surge in internet purchasing brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic—has financial institutions scrambling to find solutions that protect cardholders, merchants, and themselves. The timing couldn’t have been better for Keyno, a California-based IT security company to launch an innovative, new dynamic CVV2 (card verification value) solution that’s already proving to reduce card not present (CNP) fraud by at least 50%.

While fraudsters were busy developing new and more aggressive ways to hack online merchants and customers, Keyno was collaborating with Visa and perfecting its CVVkeyTM technology, which replaces the static three-digit security code on the back of a credit card with a continually changing code delivered to cardholders’ smartphones, similar to Google Authenticator. When a cardholder makes an online or in-app purchase, they simply use the current CVV code, which is nearly impossible for fraudsters to steal.

Keyno’s solution is not only easy to implement, it’s also risk-free for banks and credit unions. CVVkey is available as a standalone branded/white-label mobile app, or as a software development kit (SDK) plug-in to a credit union/bank’s mobile app. Keyno’s technology is implemented via a simple two-step process: First, the card-issuing financial institution signs up for the service to be enabled on a range of cards. Once enabled by Visa, the credit union/bank can offer the technology as an option to its cardholders, who can immediately activate their already-issued cards.

A large and forward-thinking US credit union is the first financial institution to trial Keyno’s fraud prevention solution. Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU), which recently launched its own innovation centre, The Lab, is continually searching for, and creating, financial solutions that address its members’ pain points. 

Ben Maxim, Assistant Vice President of Digital Strategy and Innovation, discovered Keyno and CVVkey. Knowing Keyno also has a partner relationship with Visa, Maxim moved forward with a pilot, offering CVVkey to an initial group of 1,000 MSUFCU members. The results, already, are positive, and members are happy. Maxim says MSUFCU plans to widen the pilot, especially since members who were not part of the initial group are asking if they can participate.

“I’m very proud that MSUFCU is the first financial institution to step up and address the growing problem of digital payment fraud with a truly innovative technology that credit unions, banks, merchants and cardholders can all easily implement and use,” says Maxim. “We think dynamic security codes represent our best bet to drastically reduce CNP fraud, and we’re very encouraged by the results thus far. Keyno’s CVVkey is an effective technology that we can offer to our members quickly, at a time when preventing online fraud is so critically important. We hope other credit unions and banks embrace Keyno’s technology as well. Keyno is simply an excellent company to work with.”

Adds Maxim: “We see this as an exciting opportunity for both our employees and members to be part of a payments innovation. We want to be on the front end of technology, and it’s important for us to be ahead of the game when it comes to fighting fraud. Every dollar lost to fraud is a dollar less we can spend on improving our programs and helping our members.”


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