Passport to Convenience: Microsoft’s Single Sign-In and Wallet Services for Online Shopping

REDMOND, Wash., May 17, 2000 — The recipe for online frustration is all too familiar to many Internet users. Enter a Web site, type in a user name and a password. Enter another Web site, type in another user name and password. Repeat until feelings of irritation are thoroughly stirred.

Microsoft Passport, designed to minimize such exasperating experiences, continues to attract online merchants who want to make using the Internet easier for their customers. The Microsoft Passport single sign-in service allows consumers to use the same user name and password at any participating Web site — creating a more efficient, comfortable and enjoyable Internet experience. Single sign-in also helps Web sites eliminate the hassle of creating, protecting and managing user names and passwords for their users.

“We’re always looking to enhance and simplify our customers’ experience at our site, and Microsoft Passport’s single sign-in service and wallet features do exactly that,”
said Marc Raygoza, manager of Web Development at buy.com, which has been a Microsoft Passport wallet participant since the program launched in October and recently signed on to offer the single sign-in service to its users.
“These are the types of improvements that will help to make using the Internet a more secure and enjoyable experience for our customers.”

Microsoft Passport now has 31 merchants participating in the single sign-in service, including Athlete.com, Vitamin.com, eBeauty.com and Engo.com. Nearly 200 merchants have signed on for the wallet service, among them, 800.com, Wine.com, ePhones, TooHome.com, OfficeMax.com, Flooz.com, Hilton Hotels Corporation, AVIS Rent-a-Car and eBags.com. Microsoft Passport wallet service is catching on with consumers — experiencing a cumulative growth of 134 percent over the past several months, with the largest increases during shopping seasons and promotions.

“What the Microsoft Passport single sign-in service provides for us is quick and easy access to information, while at the same time providing the security our customers demand,”
said Kurt Hagen, V.P. of eCommerce at Fossil.com.
“We think consumers will really appreciate the benefits of the single sign-in service on our site.”

The challenge for online businesses is how to retain customers long enough to make a sale — from the customer’s first selection to the purchase confirmation page. A consumer survey last year indicated that two-thirds of online shopping carts are abandoned before any transaction is completed. Microsoft Passport single sign-in and wallet services work with Web sites in an integrated fashion to provide a seamless Internet shopping experience free from myriad forms, user names and codes. By providing customers with a way to complete their purchases with one user name, one password, and single-click access to the wallet, Web sites have a remedy for the frustration that leads to so many abandoned online shopping carts.

Microsoft Passport’s wallet service also creates a smooth buying experience for customers on the Web. By enabling customers to store their billing and shipping information in one place and access it from multiple sites using any device, just a few simple clicks sends the necessary information to the Web site securely and easily. Web site owners can also customize the wallet for their customers and their sites, specifying text, content, colors and graphics to make shopping as fluid as possible.

Microsoft Passport is the first example of a
“megaservice”
available for businesses from Microsoft. Megaservices are a new breed of service that extend the Web’s capabilities by directly linking applications, services and devices with one another over the Internet. Passport provides online merchants with customizable and easy-to-implement e-commerce services that improve their customers’ experience by streamlining purchasing and simplifying registration across a network of Web sites and services.

A complete list of participating merchant sites can be found on the Microsoft Passport Web site at http://www.passport.com/directory/ .

Related Posts

Q&A: Open Passport Enables a “Network of Trust”

Christopher Payne, vice president of Microsoft’s .NET Core Services Platform, discusses the company’s announcement that Passport, the world’s largest Web authentication system, will be open to “federation,” or interoperation among multiple enterprises and service providers.

Microsoft Passport Brings Convenience, Safety to E-commerce

Brian Arbogast, vice president of Microsoft’s .NET Core Services Platform, explains how 165 million Passport users can navigate the Internet safely and easily, and how Microsoft goes above and beyond other major Internet players to protect consumer privacy.