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Locked Accounts: Why Complex Authentication Methods Are Hurting Your Customers & Business

As a customer, there are few things more frustrating than being locked out of your own account. The steps needed to reset your password, wait for a code, or worse having to phone into a call center are just some of the many roadblocks customers face when they find themselves in this all too common scenario. Locked accounts are the source of customer frustration and have detrimental implications to your customer experience journey.

Read on to find out what causes failed login attempts, the many ways it implicates your business and why biometric authentication is the answer to ending the password regime.

What causes failed login attempts?

failed login attempts

87.5%. That’s how many consumers found themselves locked out of an online account due to too many failed login attempts (Transmit Security). Given the high frequency rate of this scenario, Transmit Security’s CEO, Mickey Boodaei gives the following insights as to why failed logins happen:

Technical issues

  • Customers unknowingly use caps lock or the wrong language keyboard.
  • Complex password requirements, in the name of security, such as the use of a symbol or capital letter.

Too many passwords

  • With too many passwords to remember, customers resort to guessing until they are locked out.
  • With some sites forcing users to update their passwords regularly, customers don’t remember the most recently updated password for an account.

Attackers failed attempts

  • Hackers know that customers re-use passwords across multiple accounts. When hackers unsuccessfully try multiple passwords, via guessing, during an attack the account is blocked.

The effects of locked account on your business


The implications of getting locked out of an account has detrimental effects to both customers and vendors. Here’s how:

Customer frustration and stress

Traditional methods of ‘strong’ authentication include knowledge-based questions, one-time codes sent via text messages or email or the use of hardware devices. Basically, a process full of complexity, roadblocks and frustration that customers have to navigate through. Due to this, 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience (Designers). That’s a huge amount of potential customers who may never return – and not because of your actual product or service but due to complex authentication and the frustration it causes.

Session abandonment

A lot of money goes unspent online due to passwords. About a third of online purchases are abandoned at checkout because consumers cannot remember their passwords (MasterCard). That’s a huge amount of potential revenue you’re missing out on due to password and authentication issues. And the effects are long-lasting – convincing those customers to return is almost an impossible task.

Increase in support calls and inquiries

According to Gartner, up to 40% of a service desk’s call volume is just password resets. This statistic shows just how many customers struggle with password related issues and that support centers are overloaded with requests that are irrelevant to their actual offering or service.

How a passwordless approach solves the issue of locked accounts

passwordless is the solution to complex authentication

Failed login attempts are an extremely common scenario that consumers have to deal with. Getting rid of passwords entirely would solve the issue of customers not remembering their passwords and therefore getting locked out of their accounts. By eliminating passwords all together, all the frustration and friction within authentication today would automatically be taken out.

  • Customers wouldn’t have to worry about remembering multiple passwords.
  • Organizations won’t have to deal with the endless volume of password reset inquiries.
  • Vendors could offer a more secure and user-friendly customer experience.

By replacing passwords with FIDO certified biometric technologies such as Transmit Security passwordless authentication, customers will be able to seamlessly and effortlessly access their online accounts. As a result of this improved experience, businesses will benefit from an increase of customer loyalty which naturally leads to more profit. With no passwords in sight, the move to biometrics also reduces the ability of hackers to perform account takeover attacks as there is nothing to ‘steal’.

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  • Taira Sabo

    As a content writer for Transmit Security, Taira specializes in discovering and sharing trends and insights in the identity security industry. Her experience in various marketing and content roles in high tech gives her a unique perspective on content creation. Previously, Taira served as blog manager at leading website builder platform,