Mobile Two-factor Authentication: Get Ready for the Next Phase


The one-time SMS passcode has been the most important customer authentication tool for over a decade. Now change is in the air – all thanks to secure, cheap and fast alternatives such as data verification and flash calls. Lee Suker, head of authentication at Sinch, examines the implications.

During the pandemic, many millions of consumers received the following text for the first time: ‘here is your security code, do not share it with anyone’. Each year, companies send billions of these authentication messages. They have good reasons for that. Two-factor text access codes (SMS OTP) provide a reliable way to onboard a customer’s phone number and give almost everyone on the planet access to two-factor authentication.

The combination of “something you know” (your username/password) with “something you have” (owning your phone, verified by correctly entering the OTP code) makes it much more difficult for fraudsters to transfer your online accounts. to take

So why did volume increase during the COVID period? In a socially distanced world, many people switched to digital services for the first time. In order to shop, bank and access government services remotely, these novice consumers had to prove their identity remotely. The best way to do that? Sign up with a two-factor text.

Industry data shows just how big this growth is in business-to-consumer messaging. According to the trade association MEF, 89 percent of consumersOpens a new window