APAC web users want alternatives to passwords

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 20 October, 2023

APAC web users want alternatives to passwords

Despite still primarily relying on passwords for online authentication, Asia–Pacific consumers increasingly express a preference for alternative authentication methods, according to new research from the FIDO Alliance.

FIDO Alliance is the developer of FIDO Authentication, a global authentication standard based on public key cryptography. The standard uses phishing-resilient credentials called passkeys, which allow users to sign in using biometric authentication.

According to the organisation’s 2023 Online Authentication Barometer, a survey of users in 10 Asia–Pacific markets including Australia, the dominant use case for online authentication remains passwords without two-factor authentication. Consumers are on average manually enter passwords nearly four times per day.

Entering a password manually without any additional authentication is the most commonly used authentication method across use cases including accessing financial services (33%), work computers or accounts (39%), streaming services (27%) and social media (30%).

But users are increasingly experiencing password fatigue, with 62% having given up on accessing services online and 45% having abandoned purchases because they could not remember their passwords.

As a result, consumers increasingly want other authentication methods, and express a preference for biometrics because they believe it is the most secure option. The survey found that awareness of passkeys as an authentication option has improved from 41% in 2022 to 58% this year despite the technology only having been live for just over a year.

Meanwhile, 58% of APAC respondents noticed an increase in suspicious messages and scams online, while 56% believe these have become more sophisticated.

FIDO Alliance executive director Andrew Shikiar said the findings show that APAC consumers have a strong preference for biometrics.

“This year’s Barometer data supports this trend by showing that APAC consumers are on par with other regions globally in looking to reduce their reliance on legacy authentication methods,” he said.

“Nonetheless, the persistently high password usage without 2FA is a concern, highlighting how little consumers are offered alternatives like biometrics, resulting in lingering usage.”

Image credit: iStock.com/imaginima

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