More than 70 percent of consumers will choose passwordless multi-factor authentication (MFA) over traditional usernames and passwords, according to new consumer behavior research from firm Blink and identity authentication technology company Trusona.
Over the course of three weeks, study participants logged into a fictitious gift-giving website. It offered two options, either a traditional username and password or a passwordless MFA option. The true subject of the study – the login methods – was not revealed. The participants were also asked about their experience with the service and the logins in an exit survey.
Of the 70 percent who ultimately chose the passwordless MFA option, 53 percent opted for it during their first session and used it for all remaining sessions. An additional 17 percent that started with passwords ultimately switched to the passwordless option in the remaining sessions.
“While consumers say they want a better experience and more security online, they often settle for what’s most familiar and easy,” said Kevin Goldman, chief design officer of Trusona. “This is the first study demonstrating that when it comes to passwords, consumers are not only saying they are ready to make a change, but will actually take the leap. The most enlightening outcome of the study is that the authentication method most consumers ultimately chose was not only more convenient – but also more secure.”
Other study findings include:
Not only are consumers willing to change behavior — but they report higher satisfaction rates with passwordless MFA logins. Participants using the passwordless MFA login were 31 percent more likely to be satisfied with their login experience than those using passwords.
Passwordless logins eliminate costly password resets, which on average cost organizations $25 per help desk call. Passwordless logins yielded a success rate of 99 percent versus passwords’ of 56 percent. Nearly 30 percent of participants using passwords needed help resetting them at least once during the three-week timeframe.
People easily switch and remain loyal to passwordless MFA logins. Of the 22 percent who had only tried the familiar password login, when prompted with an email, an additional 45 percent of recipients opted for the passwordless MFA option. After trying it, 93 percent stayed with it.
Older consumers prefer the passwordless login behavior at an even higher rate than the younger groups. Participants 55 years and older were approximately 10 percent more likely to adopt passwordless MFA (59 percent) than the younger age groups (55 percent for ages 18-34, 46 percent ages 35-54), proving that consumers of all ages are willing to adopt new technology.
“Consumers need a compelling reason to change their behavior,” said Karen Clark Cole, CEO and co-founder of Blink. “Seeing the dramatic adoption rates in such a short period of time shows that consumers are ready for a new option when it comes to security in digital experiences.”