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How liveness detection affects user experience

Last modified on Friday, September 1, 2023

2 minute read

Liveness Detection Pros and Cons Title

Using Liveness Detection can both enhance and diminish the user authentication experience depending on the implementation of the solution. This varies based on the company, industry, and the liveness detection solution implemented.

Ways that liveness detection enhances the user experience of your product, driving conversions and encouraging customer longevity include:

  • Decreased risk of identity fraud: This is the main benefit of liveness detection, ensuring the user is a real person and the person who they claim to be. Thus, if a user suffers a major personal data breach, hackers will be hard pressed to gain entry into an account secured with liveness detection. This provides increased security for the user and the system as a whole.
  • Increased convenience: When implemented well, liveness detection technologies can allow users to access their accounts with greater ease. This can provide a more convenient experience for users.
  • Enhanced feeling of security: Users dislike methods that can make their accounts less secure, for example by mandating basic security questions and answers during account creation, suggesting that anyone who can guess these answers will gain acces to the account. If users are made to understand the benefits of liveness detection, it will increase their perception of security.
  • Smoother onboarding: By reducing the amount of onboarding information required elsewhere, liveness detection can cause a shorter and smoother onboarding process.

Ways in which liveness detection could negatively affect the user experience of your solution, resulting in decreased customer acquisition, increased customer churn, and a higher support overhead:

  • Increased authentication time: Liveness detection adds an extra layer of authentication, which could increase the time it takes to complete the registration and/or ongoing authentication process. This can cause frustration and inconvenience for users. Frustration can be exacerbated if users need to re-verify their identity when liveness detection fails due to a false positive.
  • Cost and complexity: Liveness detection can be expensive to implement, especially considering the increased system complexity, need for error handling if the liveness detection API fails, which adds additional costs to businesses that may already have limited budgets. This will decrease user satisfaction if this additional cost is passed on to users.
  • Aversion to facial recognition technology: Different laws surround the use of facial recognition technologies. Your users may not be willing to adopt such technologies meaning you may have different authentication systems for different geographies.
  • User confusion and suspicion: Emerging technologies such as Liveness Detection can increase user confusion and arouse suspicion of what they're being asked to do, this effect may be felt disproportionately across your user base.
  • Discriminatory bias: Despite progress in reducing facial recognition bias, for a multitude of historic reasons facial recognition accuracy is still biased, particularly towards lighter skin.

Liveness detection can both enhance and diminish the user authentication experience depending on the implementation. It can provide increased security, convenience, and smoother onboarding, however, it may increase authentication time, cost and complexity, and lead to user confusion and suspicion. It is important to consider these potential pitfalls to ensure that the user experience is positive.

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