Addressing your customers’ number one concern: 50% worry about security

There was a time when customers would stick with you for years. But customers of today are fickle. They hold businesses to higher standards than ever — disappoint them, and they won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere.

To continue to grow your business, it’s therefore key to meet customer expectations. But what are these expectations? What do your customers really care about? 

To better understand your customers’ feelings and perceptions of businesses, we surveyed over 4,000 respondents across the USA, UK, France and Germany. We asked them what they think about digital identity and what their primary frustrations and concerns are, so you know what steps to take to better meet their wants and needs.

Get the full findings of our survey in our report Customer Attitudes to Digital Identity.

The most pressing issue for customers right now is security

You might expect that customers of today are most concerned with convenience when it comes to proving their identity online. For example, how easy is it for them to access digital services, can they get this access instantly? After all, companies like Netflix and Uber have re-invented the customer experience. They’ve made services available at the touch of a button.

But our survey shows a different pattern. 52.8% of respondents are concerned their data will be passed on to 3rd parties, and 50.2% worry about the security of the information they provide. Comparatively, only 26.9% said they find processes involving digital identity take too long.

While convenience and ease of use will always be important to customers, it seems they are now taken as standard. The on-demand model of Netflix and Uber has become the expected norm. And on the whole, businesses are meeting these expectations. Convenience and ease of access are no longer solely what differentiates you from your competitor. 

Customers are now making these decisions based on what happens to their personal information and data once it’s handed over. For example, they’re asking: how can I prevent my identity from being stolen or my account hacked? How do I know who can access my information, how is my data being used, or how much is even online in the first place? 

Why is it important to make sure customers feel your product or service is secure?

Well, roughly a quarter of respondents said that being 'confident my data is stored securely' was the true meaning of 'trust' to them. And 37.2% wanted to feel they have control over who their data is shared with.

To understand why security is such an important aspect for your customers, let’s consider what life looks like for Jess, an imaginary customer of today. 

Jess is a 28-year-old who works freelance and often remotely, and manages multiple income streams. She manages her savings and investments, and makes payments on the go, so relies mainly on app-based financial services. She also travels a lot for work and frequently rents a car both at home and abroad to get around. Jess often makes purchases online, for example getting that last-minute birthday present delivered to a friend’s house when she’s away.

Often on a daily basis, Jess will have multiple interactions with different businesses. Nearly all of them take place in an online capacity. She’s managing finances, checking in for a flight and making purchases. All these scenarios will require her to prove who she is, or use her digital identity in some capacity. That’s multiple instances where she’s sharing valuable or important information with different businesses.

So how can you address customer concerns around security, and build a more trusted relationship with them?

Do emerging methods of identity verification address customer concerns? 

Customers are well aware of the impact of things like data breaches. It makes them nervous, and not without reason—there’s a new victim of identity fraud every two seconds.

Experian, Transunion, Equifax all had breaches within a 90-day timeframe... It is just a matter of time before hackers get through to any database that companies use for keeping data private.” 

Charlie, 34, United States

Customers want to know that their identity is safe online, and that businesses are taking steps to address this. 

Traditional methods of verifying identity are falling out of favor. Online forms and credentials can be hacked. Databases can be breached, and personal information sold on the dark web. 

So we asked respondents what they think about emerging methods of identity verification. In response, 82.80% of respondents that use biometrics frequently, said they find them secure.

And the use of these technologies impacts customers’ perceptions of a business. When asked about businesses that use document and biometric checks, customers had the following responses.

Our research suggests that document and biometric checks have a number of positive effects on a customer’s perception of a business, particularly in regards to how seriously they treat security. 45.7% of respondents felt that the business cared about, and was taking steps to address, security. 

If you’d like to learn more about customer concerns and their changing relationship with digital identity, take a look at our report.

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