January 11, 2018

Commercial Momentum for FIDO Authentication Accelerates in Japan

Andrew Shikiar, Sr. Director of Marketing, FIDO Alliance

Last month, the FIDO Alliance was in Tokyo where we hosted a standing-room-only seminar to inform key industry stakeholders of the latest updates around FIDO Authentication and activities in Japan. From the news shared, it’s very clear that 2017 was a year of great progress for FIDO Authentication in Japan, particularly in fintech. This is in line with what we’re seeing globally, where organizations are recognizing they need to reduce their reliance on passwords and other older forms of authentication, and move towards FIDO Authentication that is stronger and easier to use.  

The first example of this is the growing membership in the FIDO Japan Working Group (FJWG), which was formed in December of 2016 and is the center of the FIDO Alliance’s business activities in Japan. Membership in the FJWG more than doubled to 25 companies this year, consisting of many global leading organizations with vested interest in the Japanese market. Most recently, Japan’s only international payment brand, JCB, joined and is actively taking part in working group activities. Additionally, mobile network operator KDDI has joined FIDO as a member – meaning that all three of Japan’s MNOs are now actively taking part in the organization.

The Alliance and the FJWG is clearly making an impact, as deployments of FIDO Authentication by major organizations has accelerated in Japan (and throughout Asia) over the past year. Most often these deployments utilize FIDO biometric authentication on mobile devices. Some examples of FIDO rollouts this year include:

  • Fujitsu launched “Finplex Online Authentication Service for FIDO,” which was adopted by Mizuho Bank’s “Mizuho Direct” application for customer login
  • NEC Corporation deployed FIDO authentication for mobile identity proofing based on face recognition, which is starting to be utilized by the Bank of Okinawa
  • Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) announced the launch of an identity proofing service based on FIDO authentication which is an active Proof of Concept with the Japan Net Bank, Ltd.

Notably, the Alliance also announced the first certified implementation of FIDO UAF 1.1. NTT DOCOMO now supports the protocol in its d ACCOUNT(™) application. This implementation showcases an important enhancement to the FIDO UAF specification — support for native hardware-backed key attestation in Android 8.0. This means that all developers and service providers now have APIs for adding FIDO Authentication to native applications they build on any Android 8.0 (or later) device. This brings substantial time and cost savings over past implementations that required custom integration for each device model to enable FIDO UAF authentication capabilities. Get all of the details on this important news at http://fidoalliance.org/first-fido-uaf-1-1-implementations-ease-deployment-advanced-biometric-authentication-android-devices/

From these roll outs, tens of millions of online users in the Japanese market are now experiencing the more secure, faster and convenient experiences that FIDO Authentication provides — while deploying organizations enjoy the benefit of lower fraud risk.

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