OwnID has launched a WordPress plugin that enables sites with WooCommerce stores to let customers use passwordless authentication via the recently launched Passkey system, delivering the latest indication of the passkey concept’s rapid adoption and potential mainstreaming.
Spearheaded by Apple and the product of a collaboration with the FIDO Alliance and W3C – as well as major rivals Google and Microsoft – passkeys are a technological innovation designed to replace password-based authentication. Essentially, the concept revolves around the storage of passcodes for each of a given user’s online accounts on that user’s personal device, and requiring biometric authentication to unlock them during login sessions. The device itself becomes a kind of biometrically-secured password manager.
Multiple major brands have already enabled support for passkeys, with PayPal having recently become perhaps the most important of them. It’s a giant in digital payments, and its acceptance of passkeys for user login could prove consequential in encouraging the use of passkeys even in sensitive online transactions involving money transfers.
On the heels of PayPal’s announcement came the news that 1Password, a popular password manager platform, had acquired Passage, the developer of an API designed to let third-party developers leverage the biometric capabilities of users’ personal devices to enable biometric logins. In announcing the acquisition, 1Password CEO Jeff Shiner framed it as a kind of shortcut to delivering passkey support to 1Password users.
Now, OwnID’s support is set to further popularize passkey technology. And like PayPal’s support, OwnID’s will extend the utility of passkeys in digital commerce specifically. OwnID specializes in passwordless authentication, and describes its mission as being to help businesses connect with customers online.
WooCommerce, meanwhile, is an open-source e-commerce platform designed for the popular website building platform WordPress. OwnID’s launch of a passkey-based login plugin specifically for WooCommerce could help to push even more online merchants to embrace the passwordless authentication technology – which could, in turn, have a substantial impact on fighting e-commerce fraud.
The OwnID plugin is free, and supports up to 10,000 logins per month. And in announcing its launch, OwnID noted that it “works cross-OS, cross-device, and cross-domain; it supports Passkeys out of the box.” That could make for a strong pitch for e-commerce merchants as they look to attract consumers across a range of device ecosystems.