Features and Benefits

ZenKey offers a secure mobile authorization platform for your users to sign into your apps and websites. Users can enable authentication and authorization from their mobile devices (e.g., phone, tablet), other trusted devices (laptop, TV), or web browsers.

Below are some of the main benefits for service providers leveraging ZenKey as well as advantages conferred to consumers.

Advantages for Merchants

* No User Name/Password: Unlike with text-based authentication, ZenKey users do not need to sign in with their username and password or receive an SMS verification code to log in to your service. Rather, they tap the ZenKey button on your app or website login UI and may either authenticate or validate a transaction without entering any passwords.
* Encryption: ZenKey is more secure by using encryption technologies in your mobile phone and mobile network when you log in to third-party apps and websites from your smartphone, or from a personal computer, or other smart devices.

  • Anti-Sim Swap: This authentication helps to prevent SIM swap fraud — a situation in which scammers persuade a carrier to switch a user’s phone number to another SIM card and the fraudster can intercept the verification code message sent via SMS.

  • Additional Recovery Methods: ZenKey also uses more authentication factors than SMS. When users register, they set up these recovery methods (e.g. fingerprints, face scans, wireless credentials, one-time-use recovery codes, trusted devices, and PINs), which may be used for 2FA. Because of the number and variety of recovery methods available, it is far more difficult for a malicious actor to counterfeit a ZenKey user’s identity. Therefore, recovery methods act as a major deterrent to identity theft in general.

  • Prevents 2nd Factor Authentication (2FA) Weaknesses (SMS): In contrast, SMS verification sends the 2FA challenge directly to a user’s device. Lest a scammer claims their victim’s SIM card was lost or damaged and convince the carrier to issue a duplicate SIM card and deactivate the original, the thief may hijack their victim’s phone number, associate it with their own device, attempt to log in to their victim’s accounts, and then receive any one-time-password (OTP) sent by a service (e.g., a bank) via SMS, permitting identity thieves to successfully log in using their victim’s phone number.

  • ZenKey Verifies User with Multiple Factors: For this reason, ZenKey verifies a user’s identity through more than just the phone number; the service uses network-based device authentication, geo-location data, phone account types, SIM card recognition, and identity assurance levels (IALs) to further verify identity. The ZenKey SDK and carrier backends also leverage proof key for code exchange (PKCE) — a security extension to OAuth 2.0 for public clients on mobile devices which helps prevent the interception of the authorization code on its return trip over an insecure transport protocol (i.e., deep linking between applications).

  • User Attributes Add Security: Additionally, ZenKey collects user attributes (e.g., email, postal codes). When a user authenticates with an app or website, the service can request to share these “scopes”, which further strengthens the authentication process. (Note: the user must agree to sharing information and may edit which kind of information gets shared.)

  • Authentication of Transactions: For transactions that require authentication—like purchases or bank transfers—the user’s wireless carrier then confirms that they have given consent for the third-party app or website making the request, pushing an authorization notification to the user through ZenKey.

  • Anti-fraud Data in Trust Services: ZenKey also offers a suite of APIs and event alerts (Trust Services) which allow merchants to receive on-demand fraud signals and automatic indicators (i.e., checking whether the SIM card has been changed in the last 24 hours).

  • Service Providers are Vetted: ZenKey vets and approves all merchants before they can integrate ZenKey. In this way, carriers keep track of trustworthy apps and online services, and end-users are verified via a unique ID that pairs them with your app’s ZenKey ID.

Advantages for Customers

* ZenKey Eliminates Passwords: Most data breaches are the result of compromised, weak, or reused passwords. To make matters worse, most of us spend copious amounts of time registering for new accounts and recovering passwords we’ve forgotten. With ZenKey, signing in is more than secure — it’s simpler and more efficient. Add a service in ZenKey, press the ZenKey button in a third-party app or website, et voilà; you have rendered passwords obsolete. For users, ZenKey offers peace of mind. For businesses, this elegant solution leads to higher adoption rates and better customer satisfaction.

* ZenKey is Free: Any customer with a wireless plan covered by one of the four major U.S. wireless carriers may use ZenKey free of charge.

* ZenKey Removes Friction (and therefore Increases Conversions for Businesses): About 60 percent of users abandon the registration process because it’s a hassle, 59 percent don’t feel that their information is safe, and 54 percent feel they don’t have control over how their personal data is shared. Even worse, shopping cart abandonment is at 70 percent. With ZenKey, you capture more of these registrations and abandoned shopping carts. This is because ZenKey’s single sign-on authentication removes friction for the customer who doesn’t wish to manage dozens of passwords or stop during every transaction to exchange a six-digit code with the merchant.

* ZenKey Gives Users Choice: Users select what personal data is sent to each service they log into via a toggle. Having more control over what’s shared and where is a reason to use ZenKey instead. The ability to choose lets customers adjust security depending on which application they are trying to access and how secure they would like the login experience.

* ZenKey Supports All Major U.S. Wireless Carriers: Powered by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, ZenKey has access to a total of 300-400 million users. Going forward, ZenKey also plans to add more carriers to broaden its customer base. Doing so empowers more consumers to direct the flow of their data while making it easier for them to access the mobile applications they already use regularly.

* ZenKey Lets Customers Manage and Monitor Account Activity — All in One Place: Using the ZenKey app, customers can see all of the services they subscribe to, what kind of data they share with each of them, and monitor login history by browser, device type, and date.

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