Big Tech Has Embraced Passkeys — Here’s Why Banks Should Follow Suit

August 20, 2023
FIDO alliance logo and topic of the article with symbols in the background

Some of today’s tech giants have already made the move toward implementing authentication via passkeys. Here’s why banks and fintech companies should do the same — plus, how Wultra’s solutions can help.

Passkeys have been gaining popularity among today’s leading tech companies as a secure, user-friendly authentication method. To better understand passkeys' real-world implementations, let’s take a look at how an array of influential brands have applied passwordless logins with passkeys into their solutions.

Logos of the brands that applied FIDO2 authentication into their solutions.

WebAuthn: FIDO2 for Web Browser

In our previous blog post, we explained how WebAuthn was developed by the FIDO Alliance in collaboration with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as one of the two primary specifications that comprise FIDO2 authentication.

In addition to being a core component of FIDO2’s set of specifications, WebAuthn is a web-based API that enables websites to update their login pages in order to add FIDO-based authentication on supported browsers and platforms.

Here’s where Big Tech comes in: WebAuthn is currently supported in each of today’s leading web browsers — Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari — as well as operating systems, including mobile platforms.

Passkeys: Passwordless Logins Becoming the Default

Several tech giants have accelerated the adoption of FIDO2 authentication by popularizing passkeys, which are built on WebAuthn. The objective of passkeys is straightforward — the solution provides users with a simple, secure way to sign in without passwords.

To set up and use passkeys, users simply need to create an account and log in via their device's authentication method, like biometrics or a PIN. While Apple was the first to introduce passkeys to the general public, passkeys have also become Google’s preferred login method for personal accounts.

The FIDO Alliance has more to say about the user-friendly capabilities of passkeys:

Passkeys enable users to access their FIDO sign-in credentials on many of their devices, even new ones, without having to re-enroll every device on every account.

In addition to their ease of use, there are significant security benefits that come along with passkeys. Importantly, passkeys have built-in protection against phishing attacks and deliver robust security assurances, as is illustrated by the Consumer Authentication Strength Maturity Model (CASMM), on which they receive the highest rating of Level 8.

Consumer Authentication Strength Maturity Model

When adopting passkeys, it becomes possible to upgrade your security level to the highest Level 8 and enhance user experience via passwordless access. Currently, every major online service provider offers passkeys as a login option.

Why Are Passkeys an Excellent Choice for Fixed Desk Finance?

Now that we’ve outlined how implementing passkeys has benefited leading brands throughout the modern tech landscape, we can apply these benefits to other businesses as well.

Implementing passwordless logins with passkeys holds great potential for companies within financial services, including:

  • Corporate or SMB banking
  • Premium or private banking
  • Specialized fintech solutions

Businesses have a lot to gain by implementing passkeys, both from a reputational and security-centric perspective. By introducing a well-timed implementation of this authentication method, businesses can assure that they’re staying up to date with the latest solutions available on the market. At the same time, businesses can improve their web portal security and resilience against phishing attacks, which has a positive impact on maintaining compliance and can be considered a significant achievement in the context of ISO 27001, NIS2, and PSD2.

Most importantly, implementing passkeys makes it possible to achieve all of this in a cost-effective manner and with minimal impact on business resources. For example, the process of building and releasing an in-house mobile authenticator can be impractical for many companies. To enable a faster roll-out, these organizations can rely on a built-in solution, such as passkeys working in tandem with a system camera app.

Get to Know Wultra’s Passkey Solution

When it comes to supporting passkeys, our PowerAuth Server is the perfect back-end solution. PowerAuth Server is a core back-end application that realizes the PowerAuth protocol cryptography. It’s responsible for device registration, activation lifecycle, application management and integration security. Furthermore, PowerAuth Server offers the following capabilities related to passkeys:

  • Passkeys supported out of the box
  • Free solution module
  • Low code implementation
  • Supports all EC-based authenticators

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Ondřej kupka
Picture of Account Executive Ondrej Kupka
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