What is consumer experience? That’s a trick question. In the era of the great digital shift, everything is consumer experience, including vital (but invisible) functions like authentication.
Going straight to the heart of the matter, PYMNTS’ October Digital Identity Tracker®, done in collaboration with Jumio, states that “consumers’ growing digital habits are prompting many digital identity solution providers to view verification as part of the consumer engagement process as well as a means to ensure security and privacy.”
The new Tracker adds that “up to 25 billion connected smart devices are expected to be in use by the end of next year, prompting businesses to consider these technologies’ roles in enabling seamless consumer journeys. Evidence also suggests that the firms that focus on providing engaging identity verification experiences can build more trust among their customers.”
Fast, Frictionless and Secure
Since remote onboarding became the nerve-wracking norm over the first half of 2020, identity verification has assumed a higher status in the tech stacks of merchants and brands.
According to October’s Digital Identity Tracker®, “the pressure is on for digital retailers to offer seamless and secure purchasing experiences as consumers spend more time than ever shopping online. [A recent] survey of 7,000 North American and European consumers indicated that 92 percent expect digital retail experiences to be fast, frictionless and secure, and 73 percent believe account creation or online transactions should happen instantly.”
That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for error, customer experience-wise. That’s why more companies are demanding biometrics in their verification solutions, as this form of security is both harder to thwart and easier on the legitimate user than playing “what’s my password?”
“A biometric-based authentication solution can provide a secure alternative to using passwords or knowledge-based authentication questions to keep customers’ accounts and their data secure,” Philipp Pointner, chief product officer at Jumio, told PYMNTS. “If identity verification is performed at the initial account opening stage, or [during a] first-time purchase, along with a selfie that captures a 3D face map, every subsequent time the customer wants to log into their account or make a purchase, [the site should] capture a fresh 3D face map. That new face map [can] then [be] compared to the original one and their account is unlocked in seconds. Taking a simple selfie significantly reduces the friction for customers if they’re out and on the move, trying to make purchases from their smartphones.”
Biometric Balancing Act
Balance is always the goal, or should be, and biometrics can provide it. Allowing users to identify with a combination of utterly unique attributes not only foils the scammers, but it’s also a more effortless and elegant interface. And simplicity is a good way to romance consumers nowadays.
Pointing out that hidden fees and shipping costs are the top reasons for eCommerce cart abandonment, the report states that “the second-most common cause of cart abandonment reported [in one study is] having to create a new user account at checkout, with 22 percent of respondents citing this reason” for bailing out before completing the transaction. Biometrics can reduce that.
“Offering guest checkout options could help reduce unnecessary frictions for first-time buyers who are uninterested in opening accounts before completing their orders,” the Digital Identity Tracker® states. “Retailers that invest in innovative tools such as biometrics and [machine learning] that can quickly and seamlessly authenticate digital users will have the best chance at creating onboarding experiences that earn customers' loyalty from the get-go.”