It would be great to have secure authentication everywhere we are online or whenever we hand over our devices over to our kids, but with it normally comes more friction than we might prefer in our day-to-day life. According to my bank, two-factor authentication means clumsy number cards to carry around in my wallet, and security for purchases in mobile games is just the standard phone password. With it comes a few problems, namely digging around your apartment to find the second factor in your two-factor authentication, or your kids getting their hands on a password and then racking up 100's of euros in in-app-purchases.
MePIN, the Finnish smartphone authentication startup, has just updated their product with a new release, and with it comes more applications of the system. The company was launched to provide a secure authentication system linked to a smartphone for online services, and now offers a wider platform for companies to take advantage of.
MePIN's API allows developers to plug the startup into their online or mobile services to require users to authenticate through MePIN's phone application before proceeding. For users, by clicking the 'log in with MePin' button on some service, you'll find a push notification on your phone asking you to authenticate the login.
With the new update, MePin also allows trusted messaging and transaction verification, which gives developers a chance to use MePin for more than just a login. One application MePIN CEO Mr. Markku Mehtälä pictures for this new feature is the ability for parents to authenticate if it's okay to enable an in-app purchase, or to limit how much their children are allowed to play. The demo version he showed at our office showed this functionality, as well as showed what rank your kid was compared to other children, which I though was kinda cool.
“Parental control has been almost a curse word for some gaming providers, so it’s about time to bring it to the modern age. Our solution is a win-win-win proposition, where the game publishers gets away from the hurdles of payment authorization hence seeing increased business with the added trust and security, the kids can get parental approval for in-game transactions and gameplay flexibly without having to wait for their physical presence, and the parents gets involved in the game and kids’ online life without interfering the joy of playing.” states Mehtälä.
Other gaming services will be able to take advantage of this functionality, such as online poker or MMOs, where stolen accounts can mean real money. MePIN is already plugged into CabalOnline, an MMO popular in Korea. Additionally, we hear they're running a trial with a bitcoin service. MePIN was founded in 2010 and offers banking-grade Public Key Infrastructure.