Beyond Passwords: Creating a Seamless Online Experience

Passwords are everywhere and seem like a necessity to protect our digital lives. As per a study, an average internet user has more than 90 online accounts and is burdened with the numerous passwords needed to log in to various sites, including social media, online shopping, and digital banking. Imagine having to remember the password for all these accounts!

Enter Passwordless Login. They do not eliminate verification; in fact, they enable their users to log in to websites or apps without a password. There are various types of Passwordless Login systems, and with each type, a user will have to prove their identity with one or more forms of authentication. Passwordless Login uses one or more of the below-mentioned multi-factor authentication factors to verify a user’s identity without a password.

  1. Knowledge: Something that a user knows, e.g., PINs or passwords
  2. Possession: Something that a user has, e.g., a device or token (could be hardware or software)
  3. Inherence: Something that a user is, e.g., biometrics or behavioral characteristics

The Need for Passwordless Logins

Users are finding it increasingly difficult to register passwords and login. A study conducted jointly by Mastercard and the University of Oxford found that about a third of online purchases are abandoned at checkout because consumers cannot remember their passwords.

Luckily, different types of Passwordless Logins are currently available that eliminate this hassle and work toward creating a positive online experience:

Social Media Authentication

In this method, a user’s social media address is associated with a unique encrypted key as it’s processed through layers of security. The website can effectively verify users’ identities for multiple actions and subdomains by checking the token’s signature against its security algorithm. 

Email Authentication

An email is sent to a user’s registered email ID with an encrypted digital key as a link in the email. When the user clicks on the link, the key decrypts and passes the various layers of verification, thereby allowing the user to open an account and begin a session. 

Biometric Authentication

Biometric authentication is gaining in popularity owing to the presence of fingerprint readers or facial recognition software.

SMS-Based Authentication

SMS-based authentication eliminates the need for additional online credentials, making it easier to adopt for a wider population. The process is relatively easy where a user enters a phone number, and the server sends a one-time code to that number. The user then enters this code to log in to the account. 

Of Risks and the Future

Passwordless Login is not without its share of risks, well, at least not yet. Fingerprint readers, which are crucial to biometric logins, are considered costly. Often, they do not capture the fingerprints accurately, leading to frustrations at the user’s end. A few facial recognition software can even be tricked with high-quality photographs. During the pandemic, it is difficult to use them outdoors while wearing masks.

Social sign-in authentication, though efficient, can be difficult for some websites to implement. Firstly, not every user comes with a social media account, and secondly, users may be uncomfortable sharing their sensitive social media data with a third party. Similarly, for email authentication, there is always the fear that hackers can gain access to an email account, thereby compromising all the accounts linked to the email ID.

Supported By Technology

Despite the risks, Passwordless Logins are considered the future. Compared to the traditional system of a username and password, these systems use advanced authentication methods. They reorganize sensitive data and decentralize access by making use of techniques such as tokenization and encryption.

Essentially, Passwordless Login gives users the best of both worlds: users can keep their information securely on file, saving them for the future, and without the burden of remembering a complicated password, which can encourage repeat transactions.

As more and more people move toward digital, it becomes important for businesses to invest in ways to make their experience seamless. With their ease of use and backed by technology, Passwordless Logins will have a larger role to play in this endeavor.

This article is a synopsis of a full-length article originally published by Prove.