The FIDO Alliance has published a recap of its most recent Authenticate Virtual Summit. The event took place on June 17, with a Focus on Europe theme that explored some of the different use cases for passwordless technologies across the continent.
In that regard, the Summit placed a particular emphasis on Europe’s new PSD2 regulations, which went into effect in 2021. PSD2 has a Strong Customer Authentication requirement that forces merchants to authenticate customers during the payment process. The rule has improved security, but it has also added friction, since merchants essentially have to complete an authentication process twice in order to complete a transaction.
With that in mind, Nok Nok Products VP Rolf Lindemann and Mastercard Product Development VP Jonathan Grossar both argued that FIDO authentication can help remove some of that friction and streamline the e-payments process. They are hoping that delegated authentication practices will reduce high rates of online cart abandonment, which increased in the wake of PSD2 despite the overall increase in e-commerce during the COVID-pandemic.
Other sessions addressed Europe’s eIDAS standard and the European Commission’s growing interest in a Digital Wallet. The eIDAS scheme is intended to promote interoperability, so that identity solutions in one part of Europe will still be valid in other parts of the EU. The Digital Wallet could help fulfill that promise, since it would allow people to link their identity to a trusted digital credential that could be used for a wide range of applications.
“Digital identity is not a means in and of itself, it’s a means to an end,” said Consult Hyperion COO Steve Pannifer. “The end that it is serving is all of those services that I’m trying to get access to.”
Pannifer went on to suggest that identification, authentication, and authorization are the three pillars of a strong digital identity. The first indicates that a person is real, while authentication gives people a way to verify that identity and authorization allows people to use it to gain access to more tangible goods and services in the real world.
The FIDO protocols can help deliver on all three fronts. The Alliance has created a new ID Verification and Binding Working Group (IDWG), and has indicated that the adoption of FIDO technologies can help enable secure and convenient identity checks both online and in person.
“We’re seeing more and more companies adopt FIDO authentication,” said FIDO CMO and Executive Director Andrew Shikiar. “I firmly believe that virtually every consumer service online will be offering passwordless login options in the next few years and our hope is that the vast majority of these leverage FIDO.”
The FIDO Authenticate series will return with another virtual event in September, while the first in-person Authenticate conference will take place in October. Last year’s inaugural event took place virtually due to health concerns associated with COVID-19.