When a customer needs help and reaches out to your call center, how does your team make sure that they are speaking to the account holder and not someone who’s attempting to defraud you or your customer? These customer service interactions often require identity verification to ensure security and protect sensitive information. Traditional authentication methods, relying on personal questions or one-time passwords (OTPs) sent via email or text, have proven susceptible to various types of attacks. However, the emergence of multi-factor authentication (MFA) offers a way to verify customer identities which enhances both the security and convenience of the customer service experience. MFA simplifies the authentication process while bolstering security measures. Here’s how.

The Challenges of Traditional Authentication Methods

When contacting companies like financial institutions, customers are typically required to answer personal questions or provide sensitive information to prove they are the account holder. However, sharing these identifying details with unfamiliar individuals raises concerns about security and privacy. Additionally, the use of OTPs exposes customers to hacking attempts like SIM swaps and could compromise their personal accounts and data. Shockingly, statistics reveal that 60% of people reuse passwords across multiple accounts, posing risks to individuals and companies alike. Moreover, the financial burden of password resets, which account for nearly half of all helpdesk requests, can cost businesses upwards of $70 per request.

The Power of Hardware Authentication

Hardware authentication can be a powerful component of MFA, tackling these challenges by providing enhanced security and convenience, while keeping your customers’ sensitive information private. By leveraging hardware as one of the authentication factors, companies can offer a seamless customer service experience.

For example, Arculus Authenticate provides secure, hardware-based MFA capabilities in a familiar card form factor that can be conveniently stored in a wallet. And financial institutions can choose which type of authentication they want to use to protect customer accounts. With Arculus Authenticate, customers can log into their app by entering a PIN (something they know), tapping their card to their phones (something they have), and/or using a biometric—face or fingerprint ID (something they are). This multi-factor authentication process ensures authentication beyond reasonable doubt without divulging personal information to strangers or using insecure methods like OTPs.

Benefits of Utilizing MFA in Customer Service Strategy

  1. Enhanced Security: MFA significantly reduces the risk of identity theft and unauthorized access by incorporating multiple authentication factors. The combination of something you know, something you are, and something you have creates an impossible challenge for malicious actors attempting to bypass or hack the authentication process.
  2. Convenience: Unlike other hardware authentication methods that require additional gadgets (like USBs), hardware authentication with Arculus utilizes an already existing item—a metal payment card that users already have in their wallets, eliminating the need for customers to carry around extra devices.
  3. Efficient Identity Verification: When coupled with hardware authentication, MFA enables customers to authenticate their identity with a high level of certainty without divulging personal information to strangers or relying on potentially insecure methods like OTPs. This streamlined verification process saves time and reduces frustration for both customers and service providers.
  4. Versatility: Hardware authentication can be applied to various industries, including banking/fintech, telecommunications, and gaming, offering a unified and standardized approach to identity verification. This versatility makes it easier for customers to interact with different service providers while maintaining a consistent level of security.

In conclusion, multi-factor authentication leveraging hardware is a revolutionary solution that simplifies the authentication process and enhances security in customer service interactions. By incorporating multiple authentication factors, MFA provides a robust and effective defense against the risks associated with traditional authentication methods. It not only safeguards sensitive information but can also instill confidence for both customers and service providers. Security and privacy are paramount, and MFA plays a vital role in ensuring a seamless and secure customer experience. By utilizing MFA, service providers can enhance their authentication processes, protect sensitive data, and deliver an exceptional level of security to their customers.