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‘no more passwords’: is it a must? or a nice-to-have?

With over half of all internet traffic now being on mobile, a frictionless mobile user experience is more important than ever. It can make or break your business. Most organisations recognise that and know they need to do ‘something’ with mobile and a passwordless customer journey. With technology moving forward, anything is possible, and many organisations are asking themselves: ‘Do we want to go passwordless?’ Often, the answer is yes. But how do you do that? What is the business case? In this article, I’ll show you some things I’ve learned through my experiences and meetings with companies that are working on the passwordless question: Is it a must? Or a nice-to-have?

Going passwordless requires thinking ahead, predicting customer behaviour and considering future business developments. How does passwordless fit into your user journey? Remember, this may differ from one business proposition or user group to the next.

Every organisation will take a different approach when it comes to implementing their customer journey, depending on business requirements as well as regulatory requirements. OneWelcome’s Mobile Identity solution stands out by offering flexible workflows, which is a critical requirement for adapting to future changes. It consists of a powerful set of passwordless login and authentication options that enhance the mobile user experience. We partner with organisations to establish the right user journey that fits their business needs, including the flexibility following the business needs.

1. What is the customer profile?
One recurring concern we see is the need for organisations to identify their customer profile. Digital and marketing teams have to be involved in those discussions, because they can elaborate on differentiators, such as age or disability. Some of our clients have brands that mainly serve elderly customers who still tend to log in on desktop and don’t always have a smartphone to use authentication apps. For them, going passwordless is less relevant than for labels that focus on younger people who are scared away by passwords.

And what about disability and inclusion? Do you need a solution for customers with visual impairment, for example? The Mobile Identity voice function could help out on the technical side. But then, how does that fit into the overall customer experience? Can you just replace the existing user journey with voice or should you create a different scenario? It’s important to take decisions like these into consideration.

2. Who has an account?
Structures and family accounts are important in the user journey orchestration, also within Mobile Identity. Customers can be individuals, but also households. Who in the household is the customer and should have access to a service? Who needs an account and interacts with the organisation? Should there be a relationship structure or delegation in place?

Let’s take pet insurance as an example: Does your dog require a username for its pet insurance? No, but as the owner, you do. If you don’t think this through, you might end up having identities from pets in your system with related access.

3. Security
Keeping customer data safe and protecting your organisation against data breaches is essential. Adopting a passwordless approach strengthens your security posture significantly. Yet it also requires finding a balance between optimal security and user experience. For example, logging in with a code sent via SMS is less secure then logging in with an app. But are customers willing to download an app for the service you’re offering? An insurance company probably has more loyal customers that will use the app on a more frequent basis. But for an online store where they only buy once or twice a year, a customer would probably prefer the SMS option.

4. User scenarios
So, after identifying the customer profile and checking security standards, it’s time to think about user scenarios. These scenarios mostly come from the business, marketing or digital teams and are set up to help your organization reach its business goals. Launching a loyalty-program is one interesting idea we see more and more. If an organisation already has an app in place, you can add security with Mobile Identity from OneWelcome. Our mobile software development kit (SDK) gives you a toolbox full of possibilities for adding authentication to your app, so you can create exactly the customer journey that you envision.

One great example is a large network of restaurants and bars operating in the UK. All their restaurants are independent, but behind the scenes, they work together. They want to increase their revenue by enabling their customers to reserve restaurants on the go, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. So, say you are travelling in Manchester. The network’s app will suggest restaurants based on your preferences, so you can make a reservation that suits you.
This system is based on the customer’s loyalty. If they like bar A, would they also visit bar B if they are in a different town? They need a reason to install the app, create an account and share some personal data. Consent and preference management are a must for this type of app. If the customer consents to sharing their location, for example, then the app can offer them even more relevant recommendations. The customer may also be given the option to list any special dietary requirements, but this is sensitive personal data and must be handled securely. All those requirements should be addressed in the decision of getting the passwordless app. And in the end, the benefits should warrant the cost.

‘No more passwords’: Is it a must? Or a nice-to-have?
Here’s a step-by-step checklist to help you start building a strong business case for going passwordless when presenting the idea to other stakeholders in your organization:

1. What is your customer’s profile?
Age? Gender? Disabilities?
2. Who has an account?
Family accounts? Mandates? Dog?
3. What are the security requirements?
Regulations? Sensitive data?
4. What are the use cases?
Differences per brand? Target groups?

Have you answered all the questions? Now you’re ready to start your organisation’s own passwordless journey. And we are here to help. Take advantage of our extensive experience in this field, so you can focus on what you do best: your core-business.

Do you need support and guidance from our experts?
Contact us and we’re happy to start the conversation. Please feel free to repost this blog post on your own website! Please just remember to mention us as a source and let us know at

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