Gartner Research

Technology Insight for Phone-as-a-Token Authentication

Published: 29 April 2019

ID: G00377471

Analyst(s): Ant Allan


Authentication methods that co-opt users’ mobile phones as tokens are widely adopted, but might not meet the needs of people with only feature phones and those using the phone itself as an endpoint. Security and risk management leaders must carefully choose among them and evaluate alternatives.

Table Of Contents


  • Definition
  • Description
    • OOB Authentication
    • OTP Apps
    • QR Code Modes
    • Public-Key Authentication Tokens
    • Integrating Biometric Authentication With Phone-as-a-Token Methods
  • Benefits and Uses
    • Usage
  • Benefits Versus Limitations and Risks
    • Phone-as-a-Token Methods in General
    • Differences Among Phone-as-a-Token Modes
  • Recommendations
    • In General
    • In Mobile Use Cases
  • Representative Providers

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