Alice case study

DeFi platform Alice takes control of UX and security with Stytch’s passwordless, frictionless auth.

Alice is a user-friendly personal finance app that’s reimagining how we save and send money in the Web3 space. With high-yield savings accounts, near-instant P2P payment networks, and a debit card to boot, Alice is making the notably complex benefits of decentralized finance and cryptocurrency accessible to everyone. With Stytch’s passwordless authentication solutions, Alice gets both the security users need and the end-to-end customization engineers are looking for.

Partnership highlights

  • Easy integration: Stytch’s clear docs and extensive guides made integration a breeze, and all of Alice’s questions were answered via Slack within 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Smooth scaling: Stytch’s modular solutions mean Alice can implement a range of passwordless auth across their app, from magic links to SMS passcodes to OAuth.
  • Pioneering products: Stytch offers an expanding array of innovative products and features for Alice to try, all rolled into one intuitive platform. 

Products used:

  • Email magic links
  • SMS one-time passcodes
  • Google OAuth logins
  • Session management

Challenge

As a young startup in decentralized finance (DeFi), security is Alice’s top concern. Their lean engineering team needs to safeguard users’ sensitive financial data, and they need reliable authentication they can trust.

“Security is critical to our business, because we’re dealing with people’s money,” said Daniel Ciao, Alice co-founder and software engineer. “As a non-custodial wallet, our users have the keys to their own funds, and they need to know their access is protected.”

But stepped-up security often comes at the cost of UX. Alice wanted to provide a highly secure environment with an equally frictionless user experience—making DeFi and crypto not only safe, but simple.

“We’re using Web3, but we still want to ensure an intuitive experience for our users,” said Max Wu, another software engineer on Alice’s team. “So, the question becomes, how do we create flows that are easy to use but allow the user to own everything?”

The answer? Going fully passwordless with their authentication.

As AWS customers, Alice first turned to AWS Cognito as an affordable solution. But they quickly ran into limitations with its rigid, hyper-defined system.

“Cognito isn’t very flexible with respect to passwordless or 2FA,” said Ciao, “and it’s not easy to build a custom UI. Their APIs aren’t designed for external use, and the documentation isn’t great. If you don’t want to use their hosted UI, you have to sort through their libraries and build it yourself.’” Alice soon began looking for a new provider—and found Stytch.

Solution

For Alice, going passwordless became an immediate priority—not only for the added protection, but for the efficiency and convenience of the passwordless user experience.

“For most password-based logins, you list an email address where a password reset link can be sent, so the password becomes a secondary way of getting into the account,” said Ciao. “Why not cut it out altogether and use an email sign-in?”

After extensive testing and numerous referrals, Ciao knew Stytch was the way to go.

“We evaluated a few different providers,” he said. “As an engineer, Stytch came out on top due to their clear API docs and flexibility. Stytch is very modular in terms of configuring passwordless auth. You can fit solutions together in any number of ways, depending on your needs, and customize them to your app without having to invest extra engineering time.”

Results

Easy integration

Compared to other integrations he’d handled before, Wu found the process effortless with Stytch.

“One of the first things I did at Alice was to take the lead on implementing Stytch,” he said. “The docs and guides were extremely easy to follow. Stytch also has a cool Slack channel for integration issues, and their response time is really quick. When I had a question about universal links, they answered within 10 or 15 minutes. With Stytch, it feels like you’re being handed a complete toolbox, and there’s a lot of value in that. It definitely saved our team a lot of time.”

Smooth scaling

Thanks to the versatility of Stytch’s solutions, Alice ended up implementing passwordless auth across multiple parts of their platform—starting with magic links for their mobile sign-up and login flows and expanding into support tooling and options like SMS one-time passcodes.

“We took on each solution individually, but it was all very efficient—maybe a week total,” said Wu. “Stytch’s modularity really shined through when I added phone verifications to our app. There was nothing I had to refactor, or tear out, or change. I just added in another API component. With Stytch, you get all these separate products rolled into one, and they all work seamlessly together.”

Pioneering products

Now, Alice knows they can rely on Stytch to bring fresh, forward-looking auth solutions to the table.

“Stytch has been really fast in rolling out new features,” said Ciao. “Just this morning, I received an email about their mock values, which is something we’ve been trying to engineer for our mobile auth. It’s been great having that level of innovation and transparency with their product line.”

As Wu explained, their range and adaptability have made Stytch’s solutions a perfect fit for Alice.

“We have an internal dashboard we built for our team to help with customer support,” he said. “Stytch has made it super convenient to set up, because we run on Google Workspace. We can use Stytch’s Google OAuth solution and be done in moments.”

The bottom line

With Stytch, Alice gets the best of both worlds: fully customized auth flows that are easy to implement and don’t come at the cost of security.

“If you value security and want to balance it with a flexible user experience where you’re the one holding the reins,” said Wu, “I’d definitely recommend Stytch as a partner.”

What can Stytch do for you?

Jump into our docs to learn more about our flexible, frictionless authentication solutions—or sign up for a free account to try them out for yourself.

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