The Market Intelligence company Acuity recently published a white paper titled “Taming the Authentication Beast“. This is the best paper I’ve seen on the distinction between on device authentication vs cloud based authentication. I thought I’d pick up on some of the points made and reference these to SmilePass.

The paper contrasts traditional secrets based approaches to authentication with emerging cloud based forms of authentication and, in particular, biometrics. To date, the vast majority of approaches to authentication have been based on passwords – secrets that customers have to remember and know at the right time. There are numerous problems with this approach, not the least of which is the fact that human actions can be predicted and manipulated. Many people I know use variants of a single password for all of their authentication. If that’s hacked though, their entire online life is hackable. Its much harder though to hack identity – because it’s individual to all of us on this planet.

The author, Maxine Most identifies how biometric authentication, as the next step in the evolution of authentication is moving from a device based approach to a cloud based approach. Coming from a leading industry analyst, this is great news for SmilePass! We’ve developed our solutions to be cloud native and available through a SaaS service.  Best practice moving forward is for consumers to be authenticated against their own unique verifiable identity. In our clients’ backends, they hold unique biometric profiles for their customers. These are created when the customer registers with their permission. A unique ID typically contains a high quality photo, a unique reference number as well as any relevant customer documents. These documents are in turn electronically stamped with the unique reference number.

The unique customer ID functions as the secure template against which any interactions with that customer can be verified, secured and managed. The only way for fraudsters and criminals to potentially spoof this approach is by registering a stolen identity. Fortunately, we’ve though of that problem and with our partners have arrived at a great solution. Using near field communications and some sexy technology we won’t delve into, SmilePass is able to read the information on a chip in a passport – including sourcing the high quality photo held on that chip. We can then face match the applicant against the info on the chip.

So our clients then have access to an end to end solution from registration to customer off – boarding  enabling secure and low friction authentication for any transaction or event they choose to apply this to. Customers know they are in a trusted relationship and its great for the client brand.

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