Biometrics emerging as the preferred identity verification option for digital consumers

Onfido announced the results of a global study with Okta which revealed that businesses have just 10 minutes to set up digital accounts or risk losing consumer trust.

biometrics consumers

The significant growth in the adoption of digital services throughout the pandemic has increased customers’ confidence in accessing online services. More than half of customers feel more comfortable online than before the pandemic, leading them to ditch shops and in-branch visits in favor of digital convenience.

This rapid shift towards digital services capitalizing on changing consumption models has intensified the customer battleground–and savvy businesses are focused on creating trust in new and improved online products and services.

The survey shows that robust security and a seamless user experience are still non-negotiables when it comes to building digital trust, and the speed of service has also become essential to the digital consumer when setting up an online account.

Competing against the clock

The survey showed that companies are “on the clock” the moment that the digital onboarding process begins–with customers expecting it to take no longer than 10 minutes. This is true across all industries; 65% want to open a bank account in less than 10 minutes, 69% when booking a car rental, 72% when opening a telemedicine account and 77% when registering a gaming account.

This need for speed extends to the ongoing service offering. Once onboarded, customers feel that brands should know and trust them, and therefore expect a much quicker authentication process during the customer journey – even for transactions that present a higher risk of fraud to themselves and the company. For instance, approximately half of consumers expect that it should take less than three minutes to approve a banking transaction (49%) or place a bet (48%), and roughly 35% consumers believe it should take the same time to fill a prescription.

Customers also expect this process to be seamless and secure across any device, anywhere. Yet currently, just one in three consumers feel businesses recognize them when they use different devices. This is critical to overcoming the time-intensive re-authentication processes consumers typically face after being blocked from accessing services, which 7 in 10 customers report they’ve suffered in the last 12 months due to a lack of efficient digital processes.

Consumers and their attitude towards biometrics

Time is now as critical to the digital customer as user experience and security, yet there appears to be little room for compromise. This presents a significant challenge in a climate of heightened fraud, with the latest Onfido Identity Fraud Report revealing a year-over-year increase of 41% in the rate of identity fraud. Pressure is therefore mounting on businesses to explore new digital verification methods that can reduce friction for consumers, while offering a robust defense against fraud.

91% of respondents who have had their identity verified by submitting a photo of an identity document would like to use this method again. Biometrics are also emerging as the preferred option for digital consumers with 8 in 10 consumers saying they find biometrics such as a facial biometric both convenient and secure. These positive experiences are catalyzing a wider shift among all consumers, with 70% reporting they would be open to using biometrics to authenticate themselves instead of a password.

“From the moment a consumer visits a service provider’s website or downloads an app, they’re evaluating whether the business can deliver a trusted digital service, providing security and keeping their data private,” says Mike Tuchen, CEO, Onfido.

“Businesses have just minutes to establish the confidence that consumers expect in the digital world. Those that can offer low or zero friction during verification and authentication will positively differentiate themselves in a market where digital services have become the norm and consumer trust breeds brand loyalty.”

“Ensuring that digital account onboarding and access meets users’ expectations for speed, experience and security will require many businesses to reassess their identity platform requirements,” says Ben King, Regional CSO, Okta.

“With biometric recognition putting identity at the heart of the authentication process to offer a robust yet seamless experience across any and every device, it is little surprise that consumers worldwide are increasingly opting for it in place of traditional passwords or in-branch verification checks.”




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