What Is Passwordless Authentication And How Does It Work?

Passwordless authentication would have sounded like something out of an espionage film just a few years ago. With just the tap of a fingerprint or retinal scan, some doors would automatically unlock or computers would restart.

In fact, certain countries have already introduced technologies like this, and part of that “magic” is still widely used in the present world.

But how does Passwordless authentication function behind the scenes? What are the special advantages of using one form of authentication over another?

Hence, in this article, we will go through what Passwordless authentication is, and how it functions

What is Passwordless Authentication?

A Passwordless authentication system is one that swaps the use of a traditional password with more secure factors. These additional security methods might include a magic link, fingerprint, PIN or a secret token delivered via email or text message.

How does Password Authentication Work?

Password authentication substitutes more secure authentication methods for passwords. In password-based authentication, a user’s password is compared to a record kept in a database. The comparison happens in exactly the same way with Passwordless authentication when using a biometrics-based technique. The various traits of a user are compared as opposed to the password.

The system might, for instance, record the user’s face. It takes the numerical data from that and compares it to records in the database that have verified the data.

However, the comparisons for other Passwordless authentication methods might be slightly different.

For instance, a system may send a one-time passcode to a user’s mobile phone via a text message. The user enters this code into the log-in box and the system will then compare the entered passcode to the one it had sent.

Typically, password authentication works similarly to how digital certificates do, public and private key pair for a cryptographic key. A user who wishes to create a secure account will make use of a tool, such as a browser extension or mobile application, to create a public-private key pair.

The user’s local device will hold the private key. Only authentication methods such as a fingerprint, PIN, or OTP were used to access it. On the other hand, the system where the user wants a secure account is supplied with the public key.

Benefits of Passwordless Authentication

  • Minimizing phishing and password theft risk

Users who are directed to bogus websites and asked for their login information are not wary of phishing assaults. A user won’t be exposed to brute force attacks, password data breaches, or other types of credential theft if they don’t utilize passwords.

  • Minimizing credential use

Reusing passwords across numerous service accounts raises an unavoidable risk to users and your systems. According to a survey, 64% of users use the same password across multiple accounts that were compromised in one incident.

  • No more memory exercises

There is no need for your users to keep track of many account usernames and passwords. Having to repeatedly reset their passwords after numerous failed login attempts.

  • Quicker login

We’re all occupied. It is advised that a strong password be at least 16 characters long and take a lot longer to input than using a fingerprint scanner or a magic link.

Different types of Passwordless authentication

  • Biometric authentication
  • Dedicated hardware security tokens
  • Certificate-based authentication
  • One-time passcodes
  • Email magic links
  • Authenticator apps


We hope that this article has given you enough information on Passwordless authentication, but if you still have questions, get in touch with Stellar Digital, the top digital marketing agency in Delhi NCR and Gurgaon providing mobile app development, web design and development and digital marketing services. We have individuals on our experienced team who can help you with your job. Just send us an email at contact@stellardigital.in