Business Networks Aim to Simplify Authentication for Consumers and Suppliers

Leveraging connected ecosystems is key for businesses looking to streamline authentication processes across channels.

In the absence of these ecosystems that leverage partner strengths, Melanie Ockerse, director of channel partnerships Europe at Entersekt, said clients and partners would have to deal with multiple vendors, implementations and integrations, which altogether lead to higher costs, more resource constraints and an overall disjointed customer experience.

With this approach, Ockerse said they’re also able to leverage different partner technologies in a connected and integrated way, providing a consolidated solution that offers clients an optimal user experience.

“It’s the convenience factor. You have one API [application programming interface], one contract but you get a multitude of solutions,” she told PYMNTS.

Apart from achieving seamless multichannel authentication, connected ecosystems also facilitate better payment authentication “because we are able to use more and more data points to create [what we call] context-aware authentication,” she explained.

Delving deeper, she said the firm can remove friction and optimize user experiences by helping clients ensure that the context of each payment interaction with their clients, whether via a mobile app, web browser or call center, employs the best authentication method possible.

She added that maintaining a partner ecosystem plays an important role in facilitating better payment authentication, pointing to the strategic technology partners and channel partners the firm works with, particularly in the use of behavioral analytics.

And while the popular Zero Trust cybersecurity strategy — never trust, always verify — means continuously verifying users, Ockerse said that “to a large extent, the authentication has to happen in the background so that [while it’s still safe] the end user is not even aware of it.”

Personalized and Simple 

In the quest to strengthen authentication methods, processes can become unnecessarily complex and introduce friction into the user experience. It’s a challenge Ockerse acknowledged as one that is difficult for both end users and service providers.

It’s the reason why in her view, connected ecosystems will become more and more relevant in the market moving forward, helping to bridge the gap between the demand for personalized services which remain highly complex, and the craving for simpler, more seamless authentication processes across channels.

Only players with the strongest ecosystems can deliver on that growing demand.

“This is what Entersekt is trying to do, [providing] one platform [and] one API that gives you access to all the different methods or all of the different products that we have. And then within that, it’s highly configurable and customizable,” she remarked.

Ultimately, it’s all about creating a more holistic experience for clients. She added that while there’s a learning curve in using these systems, keeping the end-user experience in mind makes it easier with time.

On consolidation of services among financial institutions (FIs) and their customers, she said that they are seeing a lot of movement in the identity and access management (IAM) space as well as the digital identity wallet space where digital identities and authentications are increasingly merging.

“This is one of our key focus areas when it comes to partnerships — understanding how to leverage the IAM and digital wallet space and add them to our connected ecosystem, especially in Europe,” she said.