Internet banks in the UK could soon offer more secure services through the availability of encryption and digital certificate software.
Security company RSA said it is currently piloting the product with three unnamed UK customers and will release it later this year.
The product is said to make it easy for consumer to obtain and use bank services.
It will avoid the costly and complex problem of banks having to distribute smartcards, readers and software to customers, according to Sarah Kent, corporate development manager for EMEA at RSA.
"We are focusing on consumer authentication and are bringing out later this year a consumer-based product that requires no additional hardware or software being sent out to the consumer," she said.
RSA would not reveal any more details but Kent said it could also be used for tasks such as completing online tax returns, and would fill the "middle ground" for user authentication.
"Companies need to offer a range of authentication but there is a significant gap between username and password and high-end digital certificates," she said.
High street bank LloydsTSB piloted a public key infrastructure-based (PKI) smartcard scheme for business customers to bank online more securely last year. But 10 per cent of the pilot customers had problems setting up the smartcard reader and software.
Kent said the new product would solve those issues, while allowing banks to use the increased security to drive customers online and offer more high-value services over the internet.
RSA also released its Keon web server secure socket layer (SSL) software this week, which allows ecommerce sites to implement and manage SSL certificates across its own servers.
Kent said this could save companies almost a third on the traditional managed SSL service that most sites currently use.
"It is a low-cost alternative to service-based SSL. At the moment users have to pay on a monthly or annual basis for certificates for each of their web servers. An organisation with 200-300 web servers will see 30 per cent savings compared to the service-based model," she said.
Kent claimed there is still a future for digital certificates and PKI, despite the news last week that the government is looking at alternative authentication technology because of low user take-up.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago