Businesses Need To Prioritize Mobile And Protecting Customer Identities, Study Shows

June 13, 2019 by No Comments

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When it comes to business, customer experience is king with 64% of consumers finding customer experience more important than price. But a new report from IDology finds that even customer service focused businesses will need to up their game.

Because of the widespread adoption of mobile, consumers have been changing the way they interact with businesses and raising the bar when it comes to company accountability. For businesses, in particular, this presents challenges around the idea of identity verification.

In IDology’s Second Annual Consumer Digital Identity Study, researchers found that consumers opened more new accounts on mobile phones than on computers for the first time. They also found there’s been a 19% increase in abandonment during account openings compared to the year before.

This abandonment has largely been due to a lower consumer tolerance for friction (the number of steps it takes to execute a command) and high consumer expectations for greater convenience. The study also confirmed that many consumers want a higher level of security on their accounts without any additional burden.

These consumer demands aren’t unfounded, either. In 2017, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud. And the fear of identity theft has only increased in the midst of cyber attacks and data breaches from major companies such as Equifax.

“To meet consumer demand, businesses must deliver secure, friction-free experiences built around mobile enrollment,” said CEO of IDology John Dancu. “This is a challenging balancing act, but the study found businesses that do this successfully and build trust can experience a dramatic increase in enrollment and loyalty. Businesses need to implement smart, multi-layered identity verification technology to improve verification processes and ensure that the customer experience is positive.”

The widespread of mobile use and major data breaches in the last few years have shifted the way Americans think and prioritize their identities. Consumers consider digital attributes such as their email address and phone number to be greater parts of their identities than information such as where they work.

Approximately 51% of consumers said in the IDology survey said they identified their cellphone number as a key part of their identities. That’s a 21% increase since 2018.

Businesses need to consider making major changes to their customer experiences if they want to exceed their audience’s expectations and reduce abandonment. Friction is one of the biggest barriers between businesses and consumers. Up to 83 million Americans abandoned an account because of friction during the signup process.

Businesses may be able to reduce this friction by optimizing their signup processes for mobile devices. Approximately 50 million consumers registered for new accounts online exclusively from their phone so far this year and less than 43% of this group said the experience was “extremely” or “very” easy.

Businesses may also be able to reduce emotional friction by increasing their protections of their consumers’ identities. Over the last year, the number of Americans who feel they need to protect their personal information has increased by 15% to reach a total of 68%.

Data breaches at a business can be caused by anything from cyber attacks to information to application vulnerabilities. Four weeks on average are lost every year waiting on mislabeled, untracked, or misfiled documents.

Consumers need to be able to trust an organization to work with them whether that company is in the medical industry, which employs one in every eight Americans, or the steel-producing industry, which employs over 142,000 people.

This year, up to 71% of Americans said that knowing a business is using more advanced identity verification methods would positively impact their decision to work with that business. That’s a 27% increase from just last year.

“Without trust, marketers are in fractured pursuit of customer engagement and customer loyalty,” said Jaid Hulsbosch, the director of brand agency at Hulsbosch.

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