BBVA partners with Nok Nok Labs to propel use of biometric authentication in mobile banking

Maria Nikolova

The agreement will allow BBVA to implement the new FIDO standard in its mobile banking services, which reinforces the security of biometric authentication systems.

BBVA today announces its partnership with the authentication solutions company Nok Nok Labs.

Through the agreement, Nok Nok will provide BBVA with a series of technological capabilities. This will allow the bank to continue offering secure and scalable authentication solutions that put user privacy at the center of its mobile banking services.

Further, the agreement will allow BBVA to implement the new FIDO (Fast Identity Online) standard in its mobile banking services, which bolsters the security of biometric authentication systems in web and mobile applications. This standard, promoted by the FIDO Alliance, allows alternative identification systems, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, to be used instead of passwords in a comfortable and secure manner. In 2013, Nok Nok was one of the founding companies of the FIDO Alliance and, along with other industry members, it has contributed to developing the key technical specifications and features of this new standard, which is already being used by other leading digital companies.

Nok Nok provides BBVA with an interoperable solution that has the support necessary to adapt to industry standards and global regulations, such as for the European Market, Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) which defines minimum requirements for strong customer authentication.

The new Fast Identity Online (FIDO) standard reinforces the security of online identity authentication systems on mobile devices and web applications. Its goal is to replace the extensive use of passwords with more secure biometric authentication mechanisms that are protected by encryption systems.

When a user registers on an online service that utilizes the FIDO standard, the system generates a set of cryptographic keys, so that the private password is kept in the hardware of the device and the public password is saved on the online service. In order to authenticate a user’s identity, the customer’s device must show the online service that it has the private password by performing a mathematical verification. In fact, the customer’s private password can only be used once the user has unlocked the device locally. They can do so in a secure and simple manner with their fingerprint, voice, or by introducing a PIN.

As a result, the user’s privacy and access credentials are protected, and users are not forced to choose between better security and a better user experience.

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