Let’s face it: users don’t want to remember another password just to access their online accounts, make a purchase, or contribute to a nonprofit. It’s likely they already have multiple passwords to juggle and adding one more to the mix could make or break their decision to sign up for an account.
Additionally, recent data shows that password security isn’t as strong as we think. Even a complex password has the potential to be compromised with the right technology and a diligent hacker.
Luckily, new technology and passwordless login systems are making it easier for for-profit and nonprofit organizations to offer alternative solutions.
These passwordless solutions evolved from the need to create a system that was more secure and easy for users to maintain.
Passwordless logins don’t require users to remember a complicated string of letters, numbers, and symbols. Plus, these systems require different verification measures that make it much more difficult for hackers to crack.
Your organization probably has a ton of questions about how you can use this technology.
Keep reading as we answer eight of the most common questions about passwordless login systems:
- What type of passwordless login system should we use?
- Are passwordless login systems more secure?
- What are some of the benefits of implementing a passwordless login system?
- How do we promote our passwordless login to users?
- How difficult is it to implement passwordless login?
- What types of nonprofits and companies can use passwordlesss login systems?
- Are there any risks to using passwordless login systems?
- How user-friendly is passwordless login?
Get ready to jump into the first question!
In case we lost you at “passwordless login,” we’ll go back to the basics. Essentially, passwordless login systems are tools that organizations can implement so that their users don’t have to log in via a password.
Generally, these systems have a form of authentication that users present to access their account. From fingerprint scanning to tokens to email verification, each system will have a different way to authorize access to an account.
Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so organizations will have to find the one that best fits their needs.
Let’s dive deeper into the three types of authentication that passwordless login systems use.
As one of the most popular authentication methods, email authentication can be used in login screens and e-commerce sites as well as mobile forms like text-to-give.
The login process is simple:
- After a user clicks on the “Login” button, a mailto link is triggered that will generate a pre-written email.
- The user will use this email to enter her account. When a user logs in for the first time, she will have to create an account with her email account.
- Once your user sends the email, the passwordless login system can access the unique token in every email that links the request to the user’s account.
For instance, you can see in the example below how donors use email authentication when making a donation via text-to-give.
Using email to confirm a donation or log into an account is a verification step that reduces the number of fraudulent charges and ensures that users are who they say they are. Plus, passwordless login systems often use encrypted servers to house all of your users’ sensitive information.
Our Top Pick for Email Authentication Systems
Swoop is a leading provider of email authentication tools. Additionally, their software can be used on mobile donation forms, email, and e-commerce websites. Learn more about Swoop’s secure passwordless login features.
Token authentication, also known as two-factor authentication, is when users have to input a code that generates on another device.
This token is usually a unique combination of numbers and letters that users will have to input instead of a password. For security purposes, the token changes every time a person tries to log in.
Unlike email verification, this authentication type usually requires users to have an authentication application on their phone or text services to receive the token. As a result, some users might run into complications if they don’t have phone service or aren’t well-versed in the process.
Growing in popularity is the fingerprint, face, or iris authentication (also known as biometrcis). In fact, many users may already implement similar tools on their smartphones.
Since everyone has a unique set of biological characteristics, this type of authentication is one of the most secure options available. The concept is simple; for fingerprint authentication, users press their thumbs on their phone’s fingerprint reader to authorize payments or gain access to their accounts.
While this technique is intuitive and secure, it does come with some challenges. Namely, accessing technology with a fingerprint reader can be costly for your users and the technology is less cost-effective for businesses and nonprofits.
Additionally, fingerprints can be copied and replicated, and once someone has access to a user’s fingerprints, users can’t change them to protect their information like they would a password.
Takeaway: Deciding on which type of passwordless login system works for you will vary depending on your organization and the tools you have available.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the many benefits of passwordless login systems is their security. But are they really more secure than passwords?
The short answer is yes!
While there are plenty of password creation best practices—change your password annually, avoid using your birthday, etc.—very few users have the time or capacity to remember a long string of unrelated symbols.
As a result, many people use the same password or similar variations which can lead to a domino effect that allows hackers access to multiple accounts just by cracking a single password.
Additionally, even if your business or nonprofit has strong security, your information could still be at risk. Poor security on other sites could make it easier for hackers to gain sensitive information on your site.
For instance, if a hacker cracks a user’s email address the cybercriminal can request a password change on your website and gain access that way.
Passwordless logins help to elevate some of these concerns. For example, when companies use passwordless login, users don’t have to go through the process of creating an account. Even with email authentication, users will just have to remember and create one strong password for their email account.
Additionally, passwordless login systems use additional tools like the following methods to ensure that your users’ sensitive information is safe and secure from potential hackers:
- Tokenization is a form of security that randomly generates a token or a string of characters. This token can be a substitute for the real data and is harder to crack because there is no mathematical relationship between the real data and the token.
- Encryption is very similar to tokenization, but uses an algorithm to transform sensitive information into ciphertext. This ciphertext can only be decrypted with the encryption key.
These security measures are used in traditional online donations or payments as well but offer even more security when paired with one of the three password authentication methods we discussed earlier.
Takeaway: By placing another step in the authentication process that doesn’t require a password, your users’ information stays safe.
Now that you know about the security of passwordless logins, you’re probably wondering what other benefits implementing a similar system will have for your company or nonprofit.
Organizations are constantly looking for best practices to make the login process quick and easy. Passwordless login systems not only make the process simple, but they also save users from the hassle of remembering a new password.
You’re probably aware that one of the main causes of donor and shopping cart abandonment—when people leave your form before confirming their gift or purchase—is because users have to create an account in order to move forward.
While having an account is essential if organizations want to encourage their users to make repeat transactions, users are less likely to give again if they can’t remember their password.
Passwordless login systems give users the best of both worlds: users can keep their payment information on file, saving them time in the future, and they won’t have to remember a long complicated password, which will encourage repeat donations.
Additionally, users won’t have to struggle to create a password that they feel is secure, which can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of creating an online account.
Moreover, your users are more likely to make impulse purchases or donations because the process will be much easier.
Think about it this way: Nonprofits that implement an email verification passwordless system can cut down their donation process, and donors won’t have to spend any additional time trying to remember or retrieve their account password.
Takeaway: Implementing a passwordless login system saves time and removes the frustration of having to remember another password.
As with any new giving method or process, your users will have some hesitation about using passwordless login systems. It’s likely that they will question its security as well as its ease of use.
If you want people to use your passwordless login system, you need to be able to put their concerns at ease as well as show them how it works.
Here are a few ways you can promote your passwordless login system:
- Create a video to post online. Create a video that shows users how the authentication process works—whether you’re using email or fingerprint verification, showing your users all the steps will make them more familiar and comfortable with the process. You can post your video to social media or on your website.
- Have an event speaker demonstrate the process. Nonprofits that host events can ask attendees to make donations during an event as a way to raise additional funds. It’s also a great opportunity to show your supporters how easy it is to set up and use a passwordless login system.
- Highlight your new giving feature in your newsletter. Newsletters are the perfect place to let users know that your passwordless login system. Make sure to link to other resources where they can learn more about the process and include a link to where they can log in.
- Engage with users on social media. After launching your passwordless login system, encourage your users to ask questions on Facebook and Twitter. That way, you can answer the concerns that matter most to your customers or donors and get them excited about your easy-to-use login process.
As you can see, there are countless ways you can promote your passwordless login system to users and make them feel comfortable using it.
Takeaway: Users may be hesitant at first, but by demonstrating how to use the tool and answering your users’ questions, they’ll get on board in no time!
Since there are several different types of passwordless login, the time and effort it takes to implement will vary. But for the most part, these systems can be easily implemented on your website.
Imagine that your organization wants to offer Swoop’s email authentication to your users:
- First, we’ll assess your existing site’s architecture to determine the best process for implementation.
- Second, our developers will begin the process of incorporating email authentication into your website’s infrastructure, which could take anywhere from 10 to 16 hours.
- Last, your organization can use our tool internally and for users with little set-up on your side.
As you can see, the process doesn’t require a lot of work on your organization’s part.
Alternatively, if your organization wants to use biometrics, the implementation process could take much longer. Not only will you need the software integrated into your website, but you’ll also have to ensure the the program works with compatible devices like an iPhone for example.
Takeaway: Implementing passwordless login will vary depending on the type of system you choose. Luckily, most of the hard work is completed by the provider’s development team.
Password login systems are completely universal, which means that for-profit and nonprofit organizations can use them. What’s more is that passwordless login can be used for more than just a way to enter your accounts.
Passwordless Login for Businesses
Your company can use password alternatives for internal security, online users, or a combination of both.
Moreover, any account can be replaced with a secure password alternative. Passwordless login can be used to:
- Log into an online account.
- Make secure payments to an e-commerce site.
- Sign up for a subscription or service.
By using passwordless login options, you’ll be able to keep your user’s information safe and enforce stronger security measures for your employees.
Passwordless Login for Nonprofits
Nonprofits and faith-based organizations can use passowrdless login to make the donation process easier and more secure for their supporters.
When donors give to your nonprofit, they can save their payment information using a password alternative like email authentication. The next time a donor gives, the person will only complete three simple steps!
But organizations shouldn’t just consider their donors when making the switch to passwordless login systems. Organizations are vulnerable to cybercriminals who want to gain access to your donor database.
As such, nonprofits can implement email, token, or biometric authentication for internal programs so that information is more secure.
Takeaway: Passwordless login is such a great option for businesses and nonprofits because these systems can be used both for internal and user security.
As with any new system that your organization implements, passwordless login systems do come with their own set of risks. But compared to the weakness of traditional login systems, the risks are relatively low.
Of course, you’ll have to go with a reputable vendor, and there is a small chance that the new program won’t be compatible with your website’s infrastructure.
For the users, there is still a chance that their accounts can be compromised. For example, if a hacker gains access to a user’s email account, the accounts using email authentication could be compromised.
However, vendors (like Swoop) have additional security measures to ensure that this doesn’t happen. If Swoop receives a login attempt from a different device or IP address, they will send the user a text message to confirm that the request was made by the user.
Other passwordless login systems have their own set of risks and challenges. For example, hackers can access an account protected by biometrics by creating a master fingerprint using the most common characteristics of fingerprints. Additionally, face scanners can be tricked by using high-quality photos.
Each passwordless login option comes with it’s own set of risks but compared to traditional password and username logins, these alternatives are much more secure.
Takeaway: It’s important for nonprofits and businesses to do their research to determine which option has the least amount of security risks.
As passwords become more obsolete, your users might already be familiar with similar password alternatives. If you’ve ever signed up for a website using your Facebook or Gmail account, then you’ve used a form of passwordless login.
With that said, users already have some understanding of how the process works, so there is less of a learning curve.
Additionally, experts stress how passwordless login systems don’t require any memorization; the tools a user needs to complete the login process are readily available.
Generally, the process requires only two to three steps and takes about the same amount of time as a traditional login process if not shorter!
Without the hassle and responsibility of creating a strong password, users can conveniently log into their accounts feeling confident that their information is secure from unauthorized users.
Takeaway: Passwordless login is extremely user-friendly, because users are most likely familiar with the process. Plus, logging in with more security measures doesn’t take any longer than the traditional process.
There you have it: eight of the most common questions about passwordless login systems answered. Hopefully, these answers have helped you decide if this is something your organization should implement (we hope the answer is yes!).
For more information about passwordless login systems and more solutions to online donation forms, check out these fantastic additional resources:
- Nonprofit Password Alternatives: Are you looking for more ways to get rid of troublesome passwords for your donors? You’re in luck! This article takes you through the pros and cons of three alternatives.
- Mobile Giving Guide: What better place to implement your passwordless login system than on your mobile donation forms? Learn everything you need to know about mobile giving with this comprehensive guide.
- Fundraising Software for Nonprofits: If your organization is looking for free or inexpensive fundraising solutions, we’ve got a list of the top nine free fundraising software providers.
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