IDology has announced the findings of a new IDology Consumer Digital Identity Study on the impact of major data breaches and related headlines on consumer perceptions and preferences. In the wake of continued record-setting identity data breaches in 2017 and 2018, the study’s findings further demonstrate the need for businesses and financial institutions to understand changing consumer behaviors and shifts in cybercrime and the need for stronger, yet frictionless identity verification to enable the overall growth of digital business.
“We’ve reached a turning point in how consumers view and value identity verification,” said John Dancu, CEO at IDology. “With consumer demand for smooth and secure interactions, and the high expectation for businesses to protect consumer identities, the way businesses authenticate and verify customers has become a true competitive differentiator.”
Key consumer behavior trends and other major findings identified in the IDology Consumer Digital Identity Study include:
- Fraud concerns are impacting consumer choices online, with 83 percent surveyed having extreme to moderate concern that their identities will be used to fraudulently open accounts.
- Consumers view biometrics, knowledge-based authentication and one-time passcodes as the most secure methods of authentication. Overall, 90 percent of consumers are comfortable answering knowledge-based authentication questions to verify their identities but prefer demographic-based questions over credit-based questions two to one.
- Fifty-six percent of consumers report that they are more likely to choose a financial institution if they know it offers advanced identity verification methods.
- When opening an account online, consumers place a premium on security (88 percent) and ease (72 percent), with 31 percent reporting they have abandoned signing up because it was too difficult or took too long. This reveals that more than ever, consumers are looking to do business with companies and financial institutions that have minimal friction as part of their overall service experience, along with assurance that their transactions and identities are secure.
Consumer Concern Doesn’t Necessarily Translate to Action
The IDology study also reveals that despite increasing concerns, many consumers still use vulnerable password practices. Forty-four percent of those surveyed write passwords down while 73 percent seldom change them, heightening the need for businesses to take extra measures and evaluate multiple and diverse consumer attributes to safely verify customer identities. The good news is that many consumers are open to using more secure authentication methods for online accounts. Forty-five percent are extremely or very willing, with 92 percent saying they have some willingness to do so.
The study further revealed that many consumers place a higher responsibility to protect their identities on companies than on themselves, while still expecting a seamless experience. Sixty-seven percent strongly agree that it is a company’s responsibility to protect consumer data, compared to 59 percent who strongly agree that it’s a consumer’s personal responsibility. Further, the gap between consumer expectation and perception is prevalent, with half of the respondents being somewhat or not at all confident that businesses and government agencies can protect consumer identities.
“Digital identity verification is becoming more complex every day as the old, slow and static approaches become outmoded in today’s digital economy,” said Jim Van Dyke, founder and CEO of Futurion, a consulting firm that leverages decades of expertise to help leaders achieve transformative changes in areas including identity, virtual commerce, payments and financial services. “Consumers place a premium on speed and security, and are aware that their identities are less safe, but many haven’t taken the necessary actions to protect them, perhaps because they simply don’t know where to start. This is a need and an opportunity for businesses to rise to the challenge and help customers protect their identities.”
About the Study
The IDology Consumer Digital Identity Study reflects survey responses from 1,024 consumers, collected between March 7, 2018, and March 23, 2018. Survey respondents are representative of the online U.S. population, ages 18 and older, approximately 224 million people. Of this population, 85 percent own a smartphone, which translates to approximately 190.5 million people. The respondent panel was provided by research firm Qualtrics and research consultation and analysis on the survey questions were provided by Futurion.
To access the IDology Consumer Digital Identity Study 2018 click here.