An old dilemma is growing more vexing as cybercriminals get better at impersonating customers to loot their accounts and as regulators increasingly push banks to adopt multifactor authentication.

The stronger security features designed to keep fraudsters out — passcode key fobs, for instance, and so-called challenge questions (What was the name of your best friend in elementary school?) — can also block legitimate customers from accessing their own accounts. Many banks' mobile apps' listings in the app stores are littered with complaints from customers who had trouble logging in to their accounts. The same is true for desktop banking.

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