February 4, 2021

Deployments and Government Recognitions on the Rise in Asia: Updates from FIDO APAC Marketing Forum

Joon Hyuk Lee and Atsuhiro Tscuhiya, APAC Market Development Team

The reason to put passwords in the rearview mirror is more evident than ever. Our recent survey on consumer behavior says that 58% of abandoned online purchases are due to the difficulty of managing passwords. The Gartner Group’s research indicates that 20-25% of all helpdesk calls are password reset requests. The World Economic Forum (WEF) assessed that cybercrime costs the global economy $2.9 million every minute; about 80% of the attacks targeted passwords.

But the tide is turning. During our inaugural Authenticate conference, which took place in November 2020, Microsoft announced that they now have more than 150 million people are using their passwordless sign-in each month. That is a 50% increase from last year’s report at Microsoft Ignite back in November 2019.

We have all seen how the global pandemic has drastically accelerated the willingness of and the need for organizations to embrace passwordless FIDO Authentication. It is now a matter of how and with whom, instead of when.

Updates from APAC Marketing Forum

We are happy to share meaningful progress since the first FIDO AllianceAsia Pacific Marketing Forum (AMF) in July. Here are some updates from our members across the region:

Taiwan

Mentioned in our previous post was  the introduction of FIDO’s standards in official documents developed by Taiwan Association of Information and Communication Standards (TAICS) and SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International) Taiwan, as well as FIDO’s logo on the app of Taiwan-Cathay United Bank.

Recently, the government of Taiwan has also adopted FIDO’s authentication method for the purpose of citizen’s tax filing, a government service that supports more than 200,000 users. 

India

FIDO2 is now accepted by the CCA (Controller of Certifying Authorities), under India Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, as an alternative to SMS OTP.  The guidelines have been published on the CCA website (http://cca.gov.in/eSignAPI.html).

FIDO Alliance member Singular Key’s FIDO Certified authentication service is being used by ReBIT, the cybersecurity subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India.

Additionally, a whitepaper on FIDO authentication for banking space has recently been submitted to ReBIT. Webinars designed to educate the public on FIDO’s standards are also in the works. These efforts will no doubt help to drive up FIDO awareness amongst the India population.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the passion for horse racing continued even as people stayed home and betting branches closed because of the global pandemic.

For the first time ever, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) kicked off the horse racing season with all-digital betting. Punters had to log on to HKJC’s mobile betting app, provided by FIDO Alliance member Tradelink.

The betting channels, which are secured by FIDO via biometric authentication on users’ mobile devices, provided a user-friendly and safe experience that helped to secure a record HK$1.376 billion turnover – 6.83% higher than the previous record set in the 2017/2018 season! This was made possible, despite the record low number of attendees at the races in year 2020.

Separately, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government rolled out a new initiative powered by Tradelink’s FIDO Certified authentication – the “iAM Smart” initiative, which enables Hong Kong citizens to authenticate their identities using mobile devices for access to financial services. 

Malaysia

There is a clear transition towards a passwordless future in Malaysia.

The FIDO Certified authentication service from SecureMetric is recently being adopted by a number of public services in the country as part of the government’s Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy 2020-2024. This means that FIDO authentication will play a role in services such as Malaysia Central Bank’s (Bank Negara) Electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC), the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) National Technology as well as Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) from the Ministry of Science.

Vietnam

In Vietnam, the shift away from passwords is accelerating. Currently, there are 32 licensed e-Wallet providers all vying to lead the charge to facilitate the country’s shift to a more cashless society. There is also a major focus on smart city, digital signatures and electronic ID developments.

Earlier this year, FIDO member VinCSS became the first company in the country to develop FIDO2 Certified authenticators. Since then, it has met the FIDO2 standard for the second time, announcing its achievement of FIDO2 Certification for its strong authentication server named VinCSS FIDO2 Server.

This achievement also means VinCSS is currently one of only 13 companies globally with a FIDO2 certified server that can accept any FIDO certified authenticator, irrespective of its manufacturer – an amazing feat!

Other Notable Updates in Asia

Additionally, Japan-based telecommunications operator KDDI recently deployed FIDO2 for its “au ID” and started FIDO authentication service. Instant messaging app LINE, introduced biometric authentication that utilizes FIDO standards for iPad users, eliminating the need to key in passwords. The FIDO Japan Working Group Chair was invited as an expert by the Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication on their discussions using My Number Card capabilities on smartphones.

Furthermore, in Korea, the Blue House, the executive office and official residence of the president of the Republic of Korea, deployed TrustKey’s login solution powered by FIDO’s standards for remote work and internal security access.

If you wish to take part in these exciting new initiatives, or have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected].

By joining AMF, you will not only get to connect with key authentication players in APAC, but also gain benefits of participating in FIDO branded awareness and promotional activities together with global champions.

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