Rob Griffin, MIRACL: We’re taking the pain away from MFA

Have you ever found yourself trying to make a purchase online and the transaction process requires you to jump through multiple hoops just to log in? Entering a 6 digit code from a text message may seem simple enough but it’s a bore that sucks time and mind space and too often something goes wrong – the SMS doesn’t arrive or the code doesn’t work. We’ve all been there. And more often than not, people end up abandoning the transaction rather than go through the whole frustrating experience again. 

So, when the New Jersey gaming regulator announced that all sportsbooks must deploy multi-factor authentication for users’ login, it inevitably raised concerns over whether the process to place a bet was going to become prohibitively long and convoluted. 

MIRACL Co-Founder and CEO Rob Griffin takes a look at the challenges associated with two-factor authentication and the impact this can have on user experience.

“Fundamentally, sportsbook operators are in the entertainment space,” he said. “And entertainment is the sector where the overall user experience really matters. So we think that when you look at the kind of issues people have with logging in using two-factor authentication, it’s really quite evident that people don’t enjoy that process.

“If you consider the experience of logging into your bank account via a conventional multi-step, multi-factor authentication process, there is not much to keep a user entertained! So for operators, they have really got to think about how they can create and maintain a really strong user experience. Increasingly, it’s going to be this user experience that differentiates sportsbooks from one another. 

“In fairness, the number one issue within the login process is ensuring a high login success rate. Password logins have improved with the use of autofill and password managers but our passwordless MFA still has a higher login success rate than passwords achieve. However, the situation is far, far worse for 2FA logins because, to be honest, there are a lot of times when people don’t receive a text message with a code, or they don’t have access to an authenticator app. That then results in the end user becoming increasingly annoyed – which ultimately, can not only lead to lost bets, but also a rise in support queries.”

Creating a streamlined security provision is obviously incredibly important for sportsbooks, but does this place greater pressure on a company’s purse strings? According to Griffin, it can increase profitability. 

“Passwords and the friction they cause are holding up your customers from placing bets. Moreover, when they go wrong, which is very often, they cost operators a lot in customer support, either in password resets or in hacked accounts being subject to a forensic investigation.” 

He urged operators to consider that security process as an investment which can bring a number of long-term benefits, rather than a costly pay-out. 

“Passwords have been around for 60 years as the only means of logging users on. The game is up! There are now new options for improving users’ experience and reducing security risk and crucially, it is not to integrate new solutions. At a high level, we are committed to actually bringing our authentication processes to operators in the most usable and convenient way possible. We want to create the easiest integration process imaginable. 

“When it comes to the costs of these security processes, there are two things I’d say. On the one hand, people can use our solution to just get rid of that second factor such as SMS messages and authenticator apps. In that instance, they get to keep their username and password, they don’t change in the user flows. That can work as a short term solution. 

“At MIRACL, we’ve had quite a few customers start that way, and then move on to using our solution to get rid of all their usernames or their passwords. We have got a lot of standardised templates to enable that integration to happen swiftly.

“This can also improve the registration process since users have less required input in order to become actual registered players. 

“The statistics we’ve seen from our partners are really quite compelling; we are working with an operator that has grown 30% month-on-month for the last six months as a result of implementing this solution. They’re now the number one lottery aggregator in Africa and are absolutely thrilled with our solution.

“We’ve got plenty of data showing that in the field, our solution gets an average login success rate of 99.6%, which is really ensuring that a lot of bets aren’t left at the front gate – something that is definitely happening with SMS and authenticator apps.”

“So, with the increment in revenue, increase in conversion and the overall cost savings relating to support queries, the total profit opportunity makes this a compelling investment. Combined, those factors all provide what we call a hard ROI – a genuine hard return on the investment made by operators. 

Watch the full interview HERE