In this interview, we talk to Peter Alexanderson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/peter-alexanderson-9349651/) – founder of Covr Security (https://www.covrsecurity.com/), as well as Patrik Malmberg Co-Founder & CEO (https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrik-malmberg-816bb040/). Covr security is headquartered in Malmö, Sweden. They also have an office in Palo Alto.
They offer two-factor authentication, which works fully automated e.g. with a cell phone. They can work with biometric identification or a six-digit code, which has to be validated from your cell phone. They are following a mobile-first strategy. Covr is looking for banks or hospitals who want to cooperate with them.
In financial services they are working for example right now with Visa, to give an additional layer of protection to their credit card transactions.
Covr security also works on the security of patients data, here they work for example with hospitals in the USA.
We are media partners of Euro Finance Tech and we have been there to talk to some startups for you.
We really enjoyed Euro Finance Tech, you will find some outtakes during our 12 days of Christmas and you can also have a look at our Instagram profile
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Covr Security Offers Two Factor Authentication for Banks, Credit Cards and Hospital Data
00:06 Announcer: Welcome to Startuprad.io. Your podcast and YouTube blog covering the German startup scene with news, interviews, and live events.
00:20 Joe: Hello and welcome everybody. This is Joe from startrad.io. Your startup podcast and YouTube blog from Germany. As you may be able to hear, I’m still at Euro Finance Tech. And we are here with another startup. This time Covr Security. How is it pronounced?
00:37 Patrik: Covr Security.
00:40 Joe: I’m sorry. Its Covr Security should have asked you before. And guys, can you introduce yourself briefly?
00:47 Patrik: Sure. So my name is Patrik Malmberg. I am the co-founder and the Coo of the company. Have a past in software development and a startup business in both Europe and Silicon Valley.
01:03 Peter: I’m Peter Alexanderson and I am the CEO and the founder of the company. And I’ve been working with the international light of platform in Sweden. So I made that system for the whole Scandinavia.
01:17 Joe: And of course the important question is what does Covr Security actually do? Why are you guys here? What is so special about you guys?
01:29 Patrik: Yeah. So we have an access and authentication management platform. And it’s basically securing, logging into a system, whether it’s a bank or a hospital. And also authenticating and securing money transactions. We can stop fraud happening on a card, whether that’s a debit or credit card. So whether someone goes to a visa at ATM machine or a transaction over the counter. Or that’s an ecommerce transaction; we can make sure that that transaction is actually not fraud. But it’s the one who is performing during section. So we have collaboration today with visa doing a step challenge to the three d secure that is out there in the markets. So Peter maybe wants to.
02:22 Peter: So basically what we do is we redirect any type of information. So if someone is touching my credentials, we redirect that directly to the owner of that credential. So if you want to do a login, we all stone the first digital way. You really want to login. And the same way when it comes to transactions, we ask again the sender of the money. Is that really you that want to send this money? Same if you connected to a credit card, we can also redirect that information. So if someone is touching my credentials somewhere in the world, I will be the first person to know what’s going on. And also we can stop it. It’s like the card will deny if it’s not me. Or if I don’t do anything it will be denied anyway. So we basically wipe out all frauds on credit cards.
03:12 Joe: An interesting question for me that just came up when you’ve been talking is it sounds pretty much like two factor authentication. Is it that or is it just an information? What is it?
03:26 Peter: So this is a fully automatic two factor solution. So we don’t use any type of passwords. So just by having a username that pops up in the phone, you put your thumb down you read about what’s going on before it happens. And then you approve it or decline it. So it’s a fully integrated.
03:48 Joe: So basically I can approve transactions from my credit card by just looking at my phone. It says this and this. Somebody ordered at Midwestern college store and I put my thumb on it and its okay because I did it.
04:02 Peter: Yeah, correct.
04:03 Joe: And if I don’t do it, will they go through or not?
04:06 Peter: That will be denied. So if you’re in a plane and someone’s using your credentials or credit card that will be denied after 25 seconds.
04:13 Joe: Ah, okay.
04:14 Peter: You can also see in the history that someone tried to take out some money from your credit card.
04:21 Joe: Oh, okay. That is pretty interesting. So I assume that as you said that it’s already in the process of being worked with visa.
04:33 Peter: Yes.
04:34 Joe: What else are you guys doing? Like why you are here? Are you looking to work with banks?
04:39 Patrik: Yeah, so I think interesting to know is that Peter created the system for the Scandinavian banks 10 years ago. So all the banks are in Sweden connected to that solution today. So this is a sequel, a new version that is more scalable, that is more international. So that’s why we have a lot of experience from the banking industry due to that. So the idea now is to go globally and connect as many potential banks as possible. So the idea with visa is to have them being our partner in the new markets. And I would say, especially in the Asia Pacific, we started to work on a couple of banks in Asia Pacific. And also they want to bring us now in the EMEA region. So there are a couple of initiatives right now in UAE and Saudi. So that’s on the radar now for the next move. And the reason we’re here in Frankfurt is basically we have collaboration with a partner here. And they are inviting us to start working with some of the banks. So we are in the process of meeting several bigger banks right now to see where there’s a fit and where we can start piloting and roll out some of the banks here.
05:52 Joe: And a question just on the operations. So basically you would work with a bank. You would integrate in their system and the authentication would go through your platform?
06:04 Peter: Correct.
06:05 Joe: Ah, okay. I see.
06:06 Patrik: Yeah. So, yeah, maybe you want to.
06:11 Peter: So basically once you have identified a person you can do a lot with that because that’s the secret source. So once you identified a person, you can do so many things with that. The platform in Sweden is used for KYC. So we sell or they sell KYC upon that. So 700 web pages are using that. For example, government patients, insurance and all this. So they don’t have to ask who the person is just by logging in with your personal number, you login and they know already then who you are. Then upon that you can do transactions very easy between banks. If bank open up the brick walls between them so you can open up, so you can send instant money without using your credit cards, for example.
06:58 Joe: Oh, that is pretty interesting. And this is the goal? Or do you have any more vision where you want to develop your tool faster except for the adaptation of all the banks in the world? I mean that’s more natural. What are you looking forward to go? And I would have another question, but first go with this one.
07:22 Patrik: Yeah, I think we are trying to be modest and humble. If we just look at the visa as one of the partners in Asia Pacific, they have around 5,000 clients, banks. And in globally 21,000 different financial institutions. So we would be happy to start working with some of those. But of course as we are moving in different areas, we do have clients now showing up in the states, United States on the hospital side. So we have to actually, hospitals at one has around 100,000 patients. And the system has now been integrated to make it easier for the patient when they sign up for actually coming into the hospital. So they do that to do the authenticating themselves remotely, sitting at home, filling out information and authorized that it’s them send it in. When they come to the hospitals the next week, their phone gets a pop up and ask, is it you now who have the appointment with the doctor 12 o’clock. And then they press the thumb and they authenticate themselves. So it’s a very easy way for the patients actually to enter the system.
08:32 Joe: I see. And is it also like also submitting medical data or is it just only for the authentication of the patient?
08:41 Patrik: Well, the hospital asks the patients to put in some of the information. So the medical data can be transmitted through our secure channel. So that that’s part of their whole solution. We have a dual channel, so it means that hospital can send securely to the end user and the end user can sort of connect to that in the same channel securely. So it goes both ways.
09:04 Joe: And one more question for you. I do believe because we’ve been talking about a secure way to sign in. And how do you prevent all the people out there who try to get fraudulently into system circumvent you. How do you make sure it is secure? Just between you and me and a few thousand people who are watching this. Can you sell some secrets?
09:30 Peter: One of the biggest secrets is that we don’t try to secure the Internet. All our system or most of the system are based on that. You have already got some type of code that you enter in the webpage. And then you press enter. You don’t know, you don’t have a clue what’s going on between you and the bank for example. So this is the information we pick up from the bank and send it in a very secure channel down to the end user. So is this really what you want to do? So that’s the biggest difference between us. And how we do it is a little bit of our secret. It’s a secret channel down to the end user. And that person approve it and it goes same secure channel and let that person in rather than enter the person and from beginning.
10:20 Joe: And a little bit more questions on that. Would you always need your cellphone? Or is it also possible, for example, to do it with a fingerprint?
10:28 Peter: System code, that’s the only thing you have to remember. Or the phone or if the phone handle or face recognition, you can use that as well.
10:36 Joe: Okay. Always a phone.
10:39 Peter: Yes mobile phone, so android or IOS.
10:44 Joe: Great. I just want to you to ask what you’re looking for here in Frankfurt, but you said you want to work with all the banks.
10:54 Patrik: Yeah, that’s, that’s the goal to get into the banking system. Start working with some of the well renowned named banks here. So that’s the primary target. But of course there are other opportunities that we’ve been hearing now during this your finance week. It could be the Deutscher bond. It could be maybe some of the Airlines Lufthansa to actually securing that. It’s right person getting into their pages or payments that’s gone, done tickets, et cetera.
11:28 Joe: So booking, flight ticket.
11:29 Patrik: Book, your flight, you authenticate those, for example. So there are several opportunities outside the banking.
11:35 Joe: Only thing for me to say is best of luck. And let me know how you guys are doing.
11:41 Patrik: Absolutely. We appreciate it. Thank you.
11:43 Joe: Thank you.
11:43 Peter: Thank you very much.
11:54 Announcer: That`s all folks. Find more news, streams, events and interviews at www.startuprad.io. And remember sharing is caring.