Mobile Authentication

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What is mobile phone authentication?

Mobile authentication is a security measure that uses a mobile phone to verify a user’s identity. It can be used to verify the mobile device, or it could form part of a multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution.

The mobile phone can also be used in other authentication methods including digital certificates, out-of-band authentication, biometrics and solutions reliant on one-time passwords.

How does mobile authentication work

Mobile authentication is a way to check a customer is who they say they are via their mobile phone, before they’re granted access to an account or service. In the case of multi-factor authentication, the user may be asked to use their mobile device to verify their identity with a biometric scan of their thumb.

Financial institutions could use mobile authentication for securing account access, high-risk transactions, or as one factor in an MFA solution.

Mobile authentication best practices

In banking, best practices for mobile authentication include shifting from outdated SMS OTPs to passwordless solutions like biometric authentication. Another best practice is to utilize public key infrastructure and more secure tools like passkeys to verify a customer’s identity. FIs can also try to remove unwanted friction during authentication by using a layered approach, like Context Aware™ Authentication. Lastly, giving customers a choice of authentication measures to prove their identity, such as via biometrics on the mobile phone can help FIs make the most of this authentication type.

What fraud does mobile authentication help prevent

Mobile authentication can help to reduce digital banking threats like banking trojans or fraud like SIM-swap fraud, account takeover fraud and social engineering attacks like phishing schemes.

The benefits of mobile authentication in banking

For financial institutions, mobile authentication enables more secure, compliant authentication as FIs can better identify their customers. It also provides a more seamless user experience, as more consumers use their mobile phone for everyday purchases and banking.

Additional resources:


Mobile authentication | Multi-factor authentication (MFA) | Biometric authentication