Digital Identity Verification is Critical to Customer Experience

When opening an account or signing up to a service, your customers expect a fast, secure onboarding experience. Identity verification plays a crucial role, not only ensuring the person opening an account is indeed who they say they are, but, equally, as important, it is crucial to providing an excellent customer experience, especially as firms transition to a digital-first business. In this article, we discuss why digital identity is the future for improved customer experience.

Posted on July 27, 2020
Written by Vanessa Richards

identity verification customer experience

The massive disruption created over the last couple of months has left an enduring mark on customers. The people you were doing businesses with just four months ago are not the same people today. 

As a result, it has forced companies to rethink their onboarding identity verification customer experience for their clients and to re-examine what ‘good customer experience’ looks like.

In times of crisis, in particular, a customer’s first interaction with your brand can trigger an immediate and lasting effect, on his or her sense of trust and loyalty with your company. A bad experience can dissuade them from your Brand indefinitely, whilst a good experience can begin the seeds of lasting advocacy. The old adage that an advocate will tell one friend about their good experience, whilst someone with a bad experience will tell ten people, still holds true – and is, even more, the case, and more powerful, with the rise of social media. 

Which is why providing a simple and easy identity verification service is critical.

Identity verification for regulated firms

identity verification customer experience

For regulated businesses, when onboarding and verifying a client’s identity, they must balance their need to detect identity fraud – or, indeed, ensure they are confident that they can verify the identity of that user –  against the need for high-value user experience.

This requires the use of fast and accurate identification protocols that absolutely verify the customer – either through identity document verification, or through the latest and most reliable visual identity recognition techniques – combined with a full and continuously updateable audit trail, to satisfy compliance requirements.

Upfront identity verification is one thing, but all regulated companies need to ensure that they have continual and accurate reporting on any client’s relevant changes in circumstance, in order to ensure that they remain compliant on a continuous basis.

Mobile Phones enable remote identity verification

Clients expect instant access to service, via their smartphones. Bearing in mind that the number of smartphone users in 2019 was around 3.2 billion – around 41.5% of the 7.7 billion population – and with this figure forecast to grow still further in 2021, and coupled with smartphone penetration rates increasing too, global client expectation is formidably high. As a result, most regulated firms are embracing identity verification services, to a greater or lesser degree.

Smartphones have a number of advantages when it comes to robust customer identification.  They often have very high resolution cameras, which ensure good quality images of passports and other ID documents.  Better images mean that biometric facial recognition and liveness detection can be more accurate.  It’s also an area where biometrics can play a part, as many phones now have inbuilt biometric technology, such as fingerprint recognition. Overall, a carefully designed system using a smartphone can enhance the customer experience and be as secure as many face-to-face interactions.

identity verification customer experience

The ‘New Normal’ of Remote Onboarding

Due to the speed with which the Covid-19 crisis developed, there has been a need to adapt quickly – both from a consumer and business perspective. At NorthRow we ask will these behaviours become the ‘new norm’ or will they be seen as a trend that disappears as fast as it arrived? Read our latest opinion piece to learn more.

AML compliance and fraud prevention are key

identity verification customer experience

All this new technology is making it simpler to provide a top-quality digital verification experience for the end-user, but the bottom line always has to be adherence to compliance regulations and fraud prevention. The more that verification technology moves forward, the more that fraudster technology also moves forward, so it is a continual process of staying ahead of the game. That’s why it is imperative that regulated entities have the latest and continually evolving detection software and a continuous stream of live reporting so that they can monitor potential issues and have watertight audit trails for compliance reporting.

In summary

The COVID-19 crisis will end at some point, or we will learn to live with it and pursue our day-to-day lives, but we expect many of the recognised and identifiable changes, in consumer preferences and business models, to outlast the immediate crisis and ongoing lockdown scenarios.

With all of these changes, now is the time for Customer Experience, (CX), leaders to position themselves at the forefront of the expected longer-term shifts in consumer behaviour that result from this crisis. From being a marginal technology, embraced by the challengers and the young or the tech-savvy, remote on-boarding is becoming the accepted way to do business. The businesses that do well in the future are likely to be those that embrace the technology and use it to drive customer experience and brand loyalty.

Whatever service or product you are promoting, Digital Identity Verification should be high on your considerations to ensure that you both service consumer needs in time or fashion that they expect, whilst ensuring that you meet compliance demands for accurate verification and a documented audit trail.

To learn more on how we can help with your remote onboarding processes ‘Get Started’ today.