Forget Passwords: Single Sign On is Great for Businesses and for Customers
If you’re a business owner who needs to authenticate your customers, this is not the experience you want for your customers. A customer in a ‘buy now’ state of mind could be turned off by this obstacle to purchase.
The average individual is registered to 90 online accounts. Using the same password, or even the same set of passwords, for all accounts is a major security risk. With so many user accounts to remember credentials for, forgotten passwords are a common experience.
Sign-on frustrations can have a negative impact on sales. In a study conducted by Mastercard and the University of Oxford, a full third of online carts were abandoned because of forgotten passwords.
“Single Sign On” or “SSO” solutions can help you avoid this kind of loss in sales and customer good will.
What is Single Sign On?
Single Sign On lets you authenticate your customers on your website by using their log-in credentials from other trusted sites.
For example, instead of your website verifying the customer, your website automatically asks Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or another similarly well-known provider to verify. You can easily add multiple Single Sign On services to your website using a service like Konfirmi.
How does it work? SSO allows website A, referred to as the central domain, to share successful login information with website B, known as the client domain.
For example, the user goes to your website, and you have Single Sign On enabled. Instead of requiring your user to remember their login information for your site, you offer SSO by using Google. Your user can sign in to your app using their Google account information. Once that authentication is completed by Google, the fact that your user successfully logged in to their Google account is securely shared with your app. The user or customer is then redirected to your app to access your products or services.
Save time and cost
An HDI survey found that 30 percent of calls to Help Desks were for password resets, even though the vast majority of respondents allow customers to reset passwords themselves.
This means that many customers who have forgotten their password or username will inevitably call for support. This will lead to increased help desk costs.
Password Sprawl and Fatigue are Real
Consumers are finding it more and more difficult to manage their ever-growing online accounts and associated usernames and passwords. Password sprawl leads many of us to use overly simplistic passwords or use the same passwords for multiple websites and online services.
According to the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of adults age 30 to 64 have difficulty keeping up with their passwords. Password fatigue is a growing frustration among consumers.
Asking your customers to create yet another sign-on can be a deal breaker for some. As we all know, a frustrated customer is probably not going to shop or do business with you.
Your account sign-up process should not be a barrier. Many potential customers may simply leave and visit your competitors.
For your customer, Single Sign On means they don’t need to go through yet another lengthy sign-up process. This in turn means that your customer can get your product or service faster.
Reduced Risk – Improved Security
Online security is more top-of-mind for customers now than ever before. “SSO systems are often based on complex systems management applications which can centralize authentication on special servers. This centralization requires more planning, tuning and auditing to prevent malicious access than single authentication systems do.”
Compared with most applications, SSO systems have more secure storage of authentication credentials and encryption keys. You can even use an SSO system to help ID a visitor to your website, thereby helping prevent fraud before you provide any products or services.
Allowing the central domain to manage storage and security relieves you of the burden of doing it internally. And because your website is not hosting a bunch of customer data, you become less attractive to hackers. You’re also less likely to have a bunch of users with appallingly weak passwords poking holes in your site’s overall security.
Most SSO services are cloud based and use a monthly subscription model.
Pricing varies widely and can range from $1-$10 per user monthly. Many offer a free trial which is, of course, a great way to test the service prior to purchasing.
Pricing is not always publicly available, and you may have to request a quote from most providers. Depending on the scale of your need, however, you may be able to negotiate price.
But price should not be your only concern. Information security is paramount. Take a look at the proposed provider’s documentation to see if their system has been reviewed by outside security experts.
In addition, when choosing an SSO provider, be certain to consider the level of access and reporting the service offers as well as the intuitiveness of the portal or dashboard interface. Most single sign on services have some form of basic user management built into their admin dashboards, but you may find varying degrees of access, performance and ease of use.
SSO is great for the bottom line. Single Sign On services provide an affordable solution for authentication so small business owners can focus on delivering great products and services.
Eliminating points of friction can lead to fewer abandoned carts, lower bounce rates, lower IT costs, and more satisfied customers.