New research from identity verification and authentication company Onfido explores internet users’ relationship to digital services and digital identity—and reveals that businesses have just 10 minutes to set up digital accounts or risk losing consumer trust.
The firm’s new Digital by Default research report with independent identity provider Okta Inc., surveyed more than 1,000 respondents in France, and 4,000 respondents in the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom in September 2021.
The surge of digital access
The significant growth in the adoption of digital services throughout lockdowns and beyond has increased how comfortable consumers are accessing online services. France and the U.K. have the highest proportion of consumers who feel comfortable accessing services online (9 in 10), and 43 percent of French respondents said they feel more comfortable now vs. before the COVID-19 pandemic.
When asked why they want to do something online vs in-branch, the top three reasons were:
- I don’t have to travel (64 percent)
- I feel safer accessing services online because of COVID-19 (48 percent)
- I am not limited by opening hours (44 percent)
When asked which services were most important to have digital access, the top three responses were:
- Banking and financial services (94 percent)
- Telecommunications (89 percent)
- Hotel and accommodation (80 percent)
The biggest concerns with online services
Businesses should not forget about the 6 percent who still have concerns around accessing services online. French consumers had an even split of concern between security (51 percent), and believing going in-branch is still more convenient than accessing their accounts online (49 percent).
Robust security and a seamless user experience are still non-negotiables when it comes to building digital trust, but now the speed of service has also become essential to the digital consumer. Companies are now “on the clock” as 78 percent of consumers expect onboarding to new digital services to take no more than 10 minutes. This is true across all industries; 88 percent want to be able to approve a bank transaction in less than 10 minutes, 83 percent want to be able to register for a gaming account, and 74 percent want to book a car rental.
Modern identity verification in demand
The key finding of the study is that digital identity verification is becoming the preferred option for consumers accessing services. In the survey, 85 percent of French consumers who have had their identity verified by submitting a photo of an identity document said they would like to use this method again. Biometrics is 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 percent of respondents agreeing 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,” said Mike Tuchen, CEO of Onfido, in a news report. “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.”