SwiftID, which aims to do away with the typical security questions like “name of your first pet?” or “mother’s maiden name?” is the first offering of its kind by Capital One.
This mobile app-based tool takes advantage of different security mechanisms to protect users’ accounts against fraud, rather than forcing you to prove your identity by answering questions. Now SwiftID has taken the place of those security questions for users of the Capital One Wallet app and website. In the app, users can sign up for SwiftID, which then captures a unique image of their phone as a way to identify the user going forward. After sign-up is complete, whenever there’s a need for strong authentication at login, a push notification is sent to that registered phone.
Users only have to swipe on the push notification to confirm their activity. The swipe takes the user directly to a screen in the app, which is what allows SwiftID to confirm it’s really you by comparing the unique image of the phone to the registered image it has on file. It then sends an approval to the requesting system on the user’s behalf.
After a tap on the approve screen that displays, the user can then return to their computer and will be logged into CapitalOne.com without having to take any additional steps.
The new technology is basically a form of two-factor authentication, which means that the user is identifying himself or herself not only with their username and password combination, but also with something they have on their person – that is, their mobile phone.
In addition to securing accounts at the time of logins, SwiftID will also allow users to take other actions that may have earlier required a call to customer service, like changing their address on their account or scheduling transfers over their limit, for example. And it will send users an alert if their card gets locked because of suspicious activity, which users can then instantly unlock via a SwiftID authentication.