Mobile Authentication for No-Contact Business and Consumer Transactions

The pandemic has accelerated the trend towards no-contact business and consumer transactions. Mobile authentication technologies make it easier for both businesses and consumers.

No-contact, self-serve transactions are becoming the norm for all kinds of businesses, from transit ticketing to hotel check-in. No-contact transactions:

  • Limit the number of times people must be face-to-face, reducing the opportunity for pathogens like COVID-19 to spread.
  • Are faster and more convenient for consumers, reducing wait time and giving people more control over when and how they conduct a transaction.
  • Reduce staffing requirements and costs for businesses, allowing them to meet consumer needs on-demand, even in remote locations or at non-peak hours.

Mobile authentication technologies using smartphone applications powered by Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) or Near-Field Communication (NFC) are ideal for self-service transactions. Why mobile? Smartphone use among adults of working age in the US, EU and most of Asia is nearly universal. A mobile authentication system leverages an asset nearly everyone already has in their pocket—no need to issue or manage membership cards or passwords. User simply pull out their phone, wave it over the reader (for example, at a kiosk or turnstile), and go.

Ticketing and Kiosks

Kiosk systems enable 24/7/365 access to goods and services, even in remote locations where staffing is challenging. Kiosks are increasingly popular for all kinds of consumer and business transactions. With mobile authentication, there is no need to get out a wallet and a credit card or membership card—users simply wave their smartphone to connect to their accounts and activate kiosk services. Smartphone authentication works well for all kinds of kiosks, including:

  • Vending machines for physical goods or equipment (both consumer and workplace/industrial).
  • Ticketing systems for entertainment and transit.
  • Gaming kiosks.
  • Self-service kiosks for information or internet access.

A mobile authentication system can also be used to provide direct access to a venue or transit line via a reader built into an access control turnstile. This allows people to purchase tickets in advance and use their smartphone to identify themselves when they arrive at the venue.

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Hotels and Hospitality

Some hotels are moving to self-service check-in systems that allow visitors to check in and get access to their rooms without the help of a front-desk employee. Visitors can easily check in at any time, even late at night.

Smartphone credentialing can be used to eliminate the need to issue a physical key or key card. When guests check in at the reception kiosk with their phone, their authentication app can simply be updated with information about their room assignment. Now they can unlock their room with the phone.

Fitness, Bike Share and More

Smartphone credentialing systems can be used to reduce the need for contact in a variety of other industries, too, such as:

  • Gym or fitness center
  • Business service or print shop
  • Car/bike share

Smartphone credentialling can also be used in physical access control solutions (such as elevators or turnstiles) to direct visitor flows and limit the number of people in an area, further reducing person-to-person contact and pathogen transmission opportunities.

With mobile authentication, businesses can reduce the need for in-person contact in all kinds of scenarios—reducing pathogen transmission, improving customer service and satisfaction, and reducing staffing costs. That’s why forward-thinking businesses are putting smartphones to work for business and consumer transactions.

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