Discover Financial Services (DFS) and the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, an industry consortium revolutionizing online authentication with the first standards-based specifications, today announced that Discover has joined the Alliance and been appointed to the Board of Directors.
FIDO members commit to share technology and collaborate to deliver open specifications for universal strong authentication that enables FIDO-compliant authentication methods to be interoperable, more secure and private, and easier to use.
"The implementation of a fast and secure authentication method will allow us to both serve our customers and protect their information better, improving the overall customer experience," said Daniel Almenara, vice president of authentication and decision infrastructure solutions at Discover. "Discover is committed to the continued improvement of universal authentication standards. We look forward to contributing the resources and expertise to these discussions on stronger authentication and more secure methods."
Open FIDO specifications will support a full range of authentication technologies, including biometrics such as fingerprint and iris scanners, voice and facial recognition, as well as existing solutions and communications standards, such as Trusted Platform Modules (TPM), USB Security Tokens, embedded Secure Elements (eSE), Smart Cards, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Near Field Communication (NFC). The open specifications are being designed to be extensible and to accommodate future innovation, as well as protect existing investments. FIDO specifications allow the interaction of technologies within a single infrastructure, enabling security options to be tailored to the distinct needs of each user and organization.
"Our Board of Directors and the whole financial services community are stronger today as we welcome Discover Financial Services to the FIDO Alliance. With our rapidly growing body of members, Discover joins a powerful global ecosystem in bringing open standards for strong authentication to the marketplace for an easier user experience that is more secure and private," said Michael Barrett, president of the FIDO Alliance. "True to its reputation, Discover continues to lead the financial services industry in innovation and service to the individual. Their commitment to FIDO authentication will improve millions of Discover users' experiences, and equip Discover merchants with advanced management controls over risk."
The FIDO approach ensures that Relying Parties (RPs), such as Discover, and their users have a variety of choices for better authentication that overcomes the prevailing reliance on passwords. FIDO authentication is designed with a core focus on privacy -- all biometric or personal identifying information (PII) stays local on the user's device and is never shared to the cloud or over the network.