Marketing Glossary - Development - Credential Management API

Credential Management API

What is Credential Management API?

The Credential Management API is a browser-based API that enables websites to interact more seamlessly with a user's browser to store and retrieve password credentials, federated identities (e.g., Google, Facebook login), and public key credentials. 

This API helps enhance user experience by making sign-ins more convenient and secure, automating the sign-in process, and supporting the integration of biometric verifications like fingerprint scans.

Where is it Used?

Credential Management API is used in web applications that require user authentication. It is particularly beneficial for enhancing the login experience on websites where users frequently return and need a quick, secure authentication process without repeatedly entering their credentials.

Why is it Important?

  • User Convenience: Reduces the friction associated with logging into websites, as users can easily manage and reuse their credentials.
  • Security Enhancement: Enhances security by supporting modern authentication methods, including biometric systems and two-factor authentication, directly within the browser environment.
  • Session Persistence: Helps in maintaining user sessions even after the browser is closed, thus improving user retention and satisfaction.

How Does Credential Management API Work?

The Credential Management API interacts directly with the browser's credential storage to retrieve and store user credentials securely. When a user logs into a website, the API can request to store the credentials. On subsequent visits, the website can retrieve these credentials with the user's consent, automating the sign-in process. 

The API also supports federated logins, where it can integrate directly with third-party identity providers.

Key Takeaways/Elements:

  • Streamlined Sign-Ins: Provides a more fluid login experience by automating credential management.
  • Enhanced Security Practices: Leverages the browser’s inherent security capabilities to store and manage credentials safely.
  • Support for Modern Authentication Standards: Facilitates the use of advanced authentication methods, including public key cryptography and federated identity providers.

Real-World Example:

An online banking platform utilizes the Credential Management API to streamline its customer login process. Customers can opt to securely save their login credentials or use biometric authentication for subsequent visits, significantly speeding up the authentication process while maintaining high security standards.

Use Cases:

  • E-commerce Sites: Use the API to simplify checkout processes by quickly authenticating users at checkout, enhancing the user experience and reducing cart abandonment.
  • Content Subscription Platforms: Facilitate easy access to subscriber-only content by maintaining active user sessions across browser restarts.
  • Corporate Intranets: Improve security and convenience by integrating federated login systems with existing employee credentials.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How does the Credential Management API improve the security of stored credentials?

The API leverages the browser’s security architecture to encrypt and securely store credentials, minimizing the risk of exposure compared to traditional cookie-based authentication methods.

What browsers support the Credential Management API?

The Credential Management API is supported by major modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, ensuring wide usability across different user bases.

Can the Credential Management API handle credentials for multiple accounts?

Yes, the API can manage multiple credential sets per domain, allowing users to choose from saved accounts when logging in.