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Capital One introduces pattern tracing to simplify mobile banking log-ins

November 11, 2013

Customers can log in to mobile banking by tracing a pattern

Capital One is making it easier for customers to sign into its mobile banking app replacing passwords with a pattern that users trace with their finger.

The new feature is designed to address two of the biggest issues with mobile banking: Bill-pay security and ease of account sign-in. SureSwipe is Capital One’s new pattern sign-in feature for its iOS mobile app.

“We are allowing users to create a unique pattern by tracing their finger across a matrix of dots,” said Chris O’Neil, director of digital and PR campaigns at Capital One, McLean, VA.

“On next log-in, they can retrace the pattern from the registered device along with a saved username, and multi-factor transparent authentication to sign into our mobile app,” he said.

“This method reduces a multi-screen, multi-tap process, sometimes as many as 20 taps, to a single drag of a finger across a screen and lift to submit.”

Easy access
SureSwipe is designed to simplify the typical log-in process requiring users to remember and type in eight or more characters, often a combination of numbers and upper and lower case letters. This can be a challenge for mobile users – particularly when they are on the go – given the small screen sizes on smartphone.

Recent research conducted by Capital One found that 65 percent of mobile users cite difficulty accessing accounts as causing dissatisfaction with mobile banking.

Additionally, 15 percent of mobile password entries fail.

With SureSwipe, users need to trace a unique pattern and reenter to confirm the pattern. In the background, the pattern and the unique hardware identifier for the phone is stored in Capital One’s security platform and the username is remembered and a setting is placed in the app, so that on next launch users will be presented the dot matrix to re-trace the pattern they created.

From that point forward they trace and lift to log-in.

No other financial Institutions currently use a pattern login, according to Capital One. A few have adopted a 4-digit PIN to ease mobile access.

Running with the bulls
To use Sure Swipe, customers must have the latest version of the Capital One mobile app, version 4.3. Once the app is open, users can find SureSwipe under in the settings tab, where they can tap the touch screen to slide SureSwipe from off to on.

Once that is done, users can set up their secure pattern.

Capital One is working on a bringing an Android app to market in early 2014.

To showcase the ease of the new feature, Capital One has a new video showing parkour athlete Jonathan Watson as he participates in Great Bull Run in Atlanta last month while at the same time logging into his online account using SureSwipe.

Mobile banking
Capital One has been particularly active in the mobile space over the past few years.

In early 2012, it was one of several financial institutions to sign on to support the Isis Wallet mobile payments application. However, Capital One exited that partnership this fall (see story).

Additionally, Capital One partnered with shopping app ShopSavvy to enable card members to link their account numbers to the ShopSavvy app to receive deals (see story).

During last year’s holiday season, Capital One donated talk time via a mobile phone to members of the military every time customers logged in to its mobile banking app (see story).

“One of our goals was to significantly improve the customer experience for a key consumer pain point which was logging in can be difficult,” Mr. O’Neil said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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