The Importance of User Experience in Customer Authentication

The Importance of User Experience in Customer Authentication

Categories: CIAM

Authentication is one of the first interactions a customer has with your product. While authentication security is paramount, product, identity, security, and engineering teams cannot afford not to consider the user experience (UX) impacts of authentication security measures.

Specifically, research shows that:

A clean customer authentication UX can help to bring your business to the next level of success, and it’s not as difficult as you might think. Plus, when you can make security effortless for customers you can also better safeguard your application from attacks. 

The Benefits of Optimizing The User Experience

Customer acquisition rates are a primary way of growing revenue. When the UX behind your authentication process is smooth, seamless, and frictionless, more customers will gravitate towards your organization. In fact, a smooth checkout experience can increase conversions by as much as 54% for new customers. Along with a seamless checkout experience comes a lower cost of acquisition and higher conversions. When login is seamless, customers will be inclined to come back again and again, increasing retention rates across the board, and building long-term customer loyalty. 

Conversions and acquisition rates are top of mind for all organizations, but there are even greater stakes at hand. Cybercriminals are always looking for an opportunity to attack, and the last thing you want is to be a business that ends up in the news for your authentication process failing and breaches and fraud slipping through the cracks. Building brand loyalty and a secure, smooth authentication process is vital to your survival in a competitive marketplace.

Zooming out of UX within your application, most industries are seeing a massive influx of entrants in their respective competitive spheres. In order to compete effectively, it’s not features that differentiate a product -- it’s customer experience. In fact, Gartner reports that 86% of companies take customer experience to be their primary competitive differentiator. But what exactly makes the customer journey that includes authentication a positive one? 

What Are the Characteristics of a World-Class Authentication Experience?

Now that we have reviewed the importance behind a strong customer authentication UX, we’re sure you’re wondering what you can do to create a UX that will retain customers throughout the authentication process. Here are some of the key UX points to consider when evaluating your authentication process:


Customer authentication UX should be as light as possible for customers. It should not include tedious, insecure passwords, pesky second devices, hackable one-time codes, or push notifications. These factors only increase customer frustration and lead to high drop-off rates and reduced customer conversions, and customers don’t have any patience for poor experience. 61% of customers will switch to a competitor after one bad experience, and after more than one, that number increases at 80%. Customers want faster, easier checkout experiences, and the fewer hurdles they have to jump through, the higher your conversions will be.


As long as passwords exist in your infrastructure, customers will be vulnerable to many types of attacks, including brute force, dictionary attacks, credential stuffing, and more. Passwords must be removed from the customer process entirely, from everything from the registration to login process, and that way are never stored in a database or system that could become a target. Instead of relying on passwords, authenticate with multiple, strong factors compliant with PSD2 SCA, being “something you are” from the local device biometric, and “something you own” from the private key, which is created and stored in the device’s local secure enclave or Trusted Platform Module (TPM). Your authentication process should have measures in place to ensure the integrity of customer accounts, steps that go beyond the outdated password recovery processes. 

Consistent Across Platforms

When evaluating your authentication UX, consistency is extremely important for building customer loyalty and a positive digital experience. Your mobile app and web app experiences should look and feel the same for a consistent brand experience.

These characteristics can help you to build a strong basis for a world-class, customer-friendly UX. Luckily, there’s one step you can take that encompasses all of these suggestions—by making the shift to passwordless multi-factor authentication (MFA), you can stop account takeover fraud in its tracks, acquire more customers, and increase conversions with strong customer authentication.

How Can Passwordless MFA Get You There?

Luckily, Beyond Identity is here to lend a helping hand. With passwordless MFA for your customers, you can:

  • Remove authentication hurdles: Most of us know the pain of passwords. They are difficult to remember and impossible to keep safe. The outdated solution is password-based MFA, such as confirming via push notification after typing in your password, but it is an inefficient customer experience and doesn’t offer any additional security, because MFA still relies on the least secure factor of all—passwords. Beyond Identity makes the authentication process a breeze by protecting your organization from fraud and breach, enables you to deploy Secure Customer fast, and with full support across mobile and web applications.
  • Completely protect against credential attacks: With passwordless MFA, you are safe from credential-based attacks, which account for more than 80% of data breaches. Without passwords, there is nothing to use, store, or attack. Hackers are left with no entry point.
  • Ensure cross-platform consistency: With Beyond Identity, you can achieve zero-friction passwordless authentication across both native and web applications.

Learn more about how Beyond Identity Secure Customers can help to accelerate conversions, protect your organization from fraud and breach, and allow for rapid deployment with full mobile and web application support. Request a demo today.