Enabling information to be transferred simply and securely so that mobile phone users can safely pay each other and merchants is the mission of the latest spin-out company from the University of Oxford, Oxcept.
Isis Innovation, Oxford’s technology commercialisation company, announced that Oxcept is gearing up to provide a peer-to-peer payment app to mobile users. Underlying the new app is the invention at Oxford’s Department of Computer Science of a family of security protocols which allow users to create a new secure network, or to secure an initially insecure network.
The technology is purely software based, and does away with the need for any cords and network connections. There is no swiping, scanning or card reading. No pass codes, account information or credit card details are disclosed. Once both parties have downloaded the app the payer authenticates the payee and authorises a payment.
Security protocols are the rules that govern the use of algorithms to ensure that data is securely transmitted between two or more parties, some of which require human involvement, some of which don’t. The business idea went forward with $1 million from the US Navy and £100,000 from UK Ministry of Defence helping to turn daydreams into a real-life family of human interactive security protocols (HISP).