In 2019, over 21% of all UK retail sales took place online. In January 2021, that figure jumped to 36%. Even now, as the physical world starts opening up again, 26% of sales are still online. And it’s not just retail that’s gone digital. From virtual doctor’s appointments to online fitness classes, all industries have had to accelerate their digital transformation in the last 18 months.
While this shift brings many benefits for both customers, (it’s easier to access products and services in a way that suits you) and businesses, (it’s easier to connect with customers across the globe), there are also a number of challenges. Not least, secure identity and verification processes (ID&V).
What is ID&V?
Identity and verification are two closely intertwined processes that kick off nearly every customer service journey – online and offline. Identification systems use a trusted ledger, process or token to identify a customer. Verification systems then confirm that customers are who they say they are.
ID&V has been part of the customer service journey even before the internet. Shops ask to see receipts when you return an item. The Post Office checks your ID when you collect a parcel. Flight attendants check your passport and boarding pass before you get on the plane. But all of these systems rely on physical copies of identification, which are difficult or impossible to forge.
In the digital economy, where you don’t have that same face-to-face customer service interaction, this hard copy system doesn’t work.
So what does ID&V look like in the digital age?
Digital ID&V is nothing new. We’ve been buying things, returning things, cancelling services and opening new accounts online for years. To confirm our identities, companies ask for date of birth, address and more. But with more personal data readily accessible than ever before, these ID&V systems are no longer secure – especially as hackers grow increasingly sophisticated.
Businesses have therefore had to design more advanced digital ID&V systems to protect data and build customer trust.
Enter: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of many digital solutions these days, and ID&V is no different.
The use of AI-powered biometrics is a highly secure way businesses can identify and verify customers. Voice recognition can identify a customer in approximately 15 seconds; facial and fingerprint recognition are faster still. Of course, none of these methods are completely full proof – voices can be disguised, lighting can distort images and fingerprints can be copied. But then again, neither are physical forms of ID&V, which can also be skilfully forged.
A multi-factor approach
Businesses that value security should look at multi-factor ID&V solutions. These combine biometrics with other forms of ID&V, such as one-time passwords sent to secured devices. By using a multi-factor approach, companies add an extra layer of security to the process and increase consumer trust in the solution.
So, what should I look for in a digital ID&V solution?
As with all digital services, ID&V solutions should be secure from the onset, should be scalable with your businesses and, most importantly, should work seamlessly with your other systems (including legacy ones). That way, you can make sure you’re getting a secure yet cost-effective solution that won’t force you to overhaul your entire IT infrastructure.
To find out more on how to deliver seamless CX that doesn’t compromise on security, download our latest whitepaper: AI-driven technologies: Balancing Customer Trust and Security while Improving CX. You can also get in touch to speak to an expert and learn more on how Engage Hub can help you and your business.