Password manager 1Password today launched a new service, Passage by 1Password, that’s designed to allow businesses to build passkey authentication into their apps and websites without having to maintain their own security infrastructure.
The rollout signals 1Password’s expansion beyond credential management and into the customer identity access management space. But it’s also on trend. Apple introduced passkey support to iOS back in September to enable iPhones to serve as log-in tools for any compatible website or app. PayPal debuted support for passkeys on iOS in October, while other companies such as Google, Shopify, Kayak and DocuSign have also introduced support.
“Replacing passwords has been predicted since the early 2000s, but now all of the major platforms — Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc. — along with 1Password and others have joined the FIDO Alliance to make the passwordless vision a reality,” 1Password CEO Jeff Shiner told TechCrunch in an email interview. (The FIDO Alliance, the governing industry body for authentication, is charged with defining specifications for passkeys.) “By launching Passage by 1Password, we aim to drive adoption of this technology by enabling developers and businesses to easily implement passkey logins into their products and services.”
To Shiner’s point about the superiority of passkeys, it’s true that the tech — a biometric-based login solution — is far more secure than passwords generally speaking. As The Verge’s Jess Weatherbed notes, passkeys can replace passwords and verification systems like two-factor authentication or SMS verification entirely, providing better protection against hacking and phishing attacks as there’s no fixed login or transmitted code to be stolen.
They’re also easier to use than passwords — arguably. Research from the FIDO Alliance found that 58% of U.S. consumers have abandoned carts and stopped their purchases due to the difficulty managing passwords, while 1Password’s own research suggests that 75% of people would consider using passkeys in place of passwords.
Passage by 1Password encompasses two products: Passkey Complete and Passkey Flex. Complete lets businesses create passkey user experiences that work across platforms including iOS, Android, MacOS and Windows. As for Flex, it allow customers to implement passkey solutions over time while educating their customer support teams and integrating the solutions with their existing identity management systems.
Passkey Complete and Passkey Flex are free for up to 1,000 monthly active users. Above that, companies pay per usage; a 1Password subscription isn’t required to use Passage.
Asked about how Shiner sees Passage fitting into 1Password’s broader product portfolio, he said he believes it to be a “natural extension” but also a road to expansion — coming just over a year after the company raised $620 million in a Series C round that valued it at $6.8 billion. At the time of the fundraise, 1Password credited its success with the continuation of remote and hybrid working and the rapid adoption of cloud apps, both trends aligned with the broader move toward passkeys, according to Shiner.
“Password’s vision has always been to build a safer, simpler digital future for everyone and we do that by taking a human-centric approach to security so businesses, individuals, and developers can effortlessly safeguard their most private information,” Shiner said. “Passage by 1Password enables developers across a range of businesses to integrate passkey login experiences into their projects with just a few lines of code … We’re rolling out now and have seen strong initial interest in our solutions with thousands of developers signing up to try it in its early stages.”
1Password, which offers a directory of websites, apps and services that already allow users to sign in using passkeys, has been vocal in its support of the tech on the consumer side, as have rivals like Dashlane. The company recently announced that, starting June 6, anyone with a 1Password account will be able to save and manage their passkeys, and 1Password has teased allowing users to replace their master password with a passkey.
“Being able to remove the password entirely, and the friction that goes along with it, will quickly become a competitive advantage for those early adopters,” Shiner continued. “When there’s a security benefit, a business benefit and a usability benefit, that’s what’s really going to help propel passkey adoption forward for a specific sector … We see this as a win-win for both businesses and their customers, and it’s something that we’re excited to support and make a reality.”