The good folks over at Credit Card Processing Gist posted an article yesterday naming the flaws of Verififed By Visa and MasterCard’s Secure Code. Flawed technology and poor design meet good economics – telling us that price is the trump card when it comes to online authentication.
When we talk about the authentication space there are really 3 things we have to balance. It boils down to 1. Real security, 2. Perceived security, and 3. Price. What we’d hope is that all players in the space would have strong real security. I mean, that’s the business we’re in, isn’t it? But when it comes down to it, not all login systems are created equally.
And unfortunately perceived security combined with an effective pricing model can equal success, regardless of the level of actual security. What that means is the industry is open to clever fox-types who can swindle their way through a sales presentation based on slick ideas with little real security provision. Yikes. And our consumers are left vulnerable, but worse – with the perception that their information is secure.
And then there’s me. And my colleagues. See, we’re sticklers for real security. We’re those geeky types who aren’t satisfied with merely protecting our clients authentically from current threats while providing perceived security through positive user experience. We’re the crazy guys who are determined to get it right, without cutting corners. We have this crazy notion that we won’t stop improving our technology as long as there are still hackers out there finding ways to compromise consumers. Of course, that means we have a team of geeky types just like us on payroll. And our pricing strategy can’t compete with the fake-it-till-you-make it guys. We believe you get what you pay for, and even though our prices aren’t much higher than the other guys, cost-cutting measures can mean that the contracts go to the cheap solutions, even when those solutions offer cheap quality.
That’s ok though. We’re creating a safety net. When the merchants out there are disappointed with their lack of actual security, when the hackers seem to be winning the battle, we’re here to catch you when you fall. It’s like the commercial for Office Depot when a barber sees a competitor open shop across the street for “$6 haircuts.” Our barber puts up a sign saying “We fix $6 haircuts.” That’s us. We fix $6 haircuts authentication.