While Mobile World Congress took a time out in 2020, that didn’t stop the global identity industry from convening in Barcelona for a special KNOW Identity Forum event. In partnership with mobile identity provider, Telesign, we brought together experts for forward-thinking discussions on how to build effective mobile identity onboarding experiences.
The world of mobile connections is rapidly expanding. This explosive growth is being driven by an increase in connections, developments in 5G, and a fundamental shift in consumer expectations. In 2018, mobile phones accounted for 52.2 percent of global internet traffic volume, up from 10.7 percent in 2012. Additionally, there will be 1.4B 5G connections by 2025, around 15 percent of the global total. Growing 5G networks will increase the prevalence of low-latency connections and services, with commensurate increases in potential transaction volume, and mobile usage data. The increase in connection volume and availability of new infrastructure will see the mobile channel account for 70 percent of global digital commerce by 2022.
The proliferation of the mobile economy will force service providers to grapple with a new landscape of digital identity challenges ranging from data privacy issues, user experience expectations, and maintaining consistent experiences across modalities. The KNOW Identity Forum Event dove straight into these tough and controversial topics with a panel of industry experts, including Marie Austenaa, VP Market Development at Signicat, Abhijeet Singh, Senior Product Manager at Telesign, Sylvie Vandevelde, spokesperson for itsme, and moderated by Stefan Kostic, CEO of IPification. Here is what we learned.
What are the main challenges of mobile user onboarding?
The evening’s conversation kicked off with Stefan Kostic asking the panelists their opinion on what the most pressing challenges facing mobile product builders are today.
Abhijeet Singh from TeleSign noted that balancing a seamless user experience while incorporating sufficient data security friction remains top of mind. On one hand, service providers continue to view account onboarding as a competitive differentiator within the customer acquisition process. This persistence in attention drives substantial investment into technologies that can create a more innovative and seamless onboarding experience. Customer-facing digital service providers such as Airbnb, Uber, and JPMC are working towards designing a user experience that is device-native, which tries to leverage the technological advantages of a mobile device rather than forcing identity verification steps that were originally designed for desktops, such as entering your name and email.
On the other hand, product owners focused on establishing a secure connection between a trusted user and their device requires additional friction that has the potential of deterring product adoption. Product managers continue to grapple with the right balance between security and usability.
What are some of the best approaches to mobile identity?
The conversation transitioned to explore real-world examples of mobile identity products. We were fortunate enough to have both Sylvie Vandevelde and Marie Austenaa present to discuss the mobile-centric ecosystems that their countries have been able to deploy and operate. Sylvie is a spokesperson from itsme. Launched in May of 2017, itsme is a federated identity scheme originally designed for Belgium’s financial services industry. By January 2018, itsme had been recognized by the Belgian government as a form of high-assurance identification and incorporated the technology into the government’s digital portal. By the end of 2018, itsme had been launched in telecommunications, healthcare, and insurance.
Understood by the digital identity community as a bellwether for the mobile identity ecosystem, itsme combines the participation from disparate institutions into a highly interoperable mobile identity schema.
As a close neighbor, Marie Austenaa’s company Signicat is headquartered in Norway where the government has deployed BankID. Similar to itsme, BankID is a private-public consortium of participating institutions that share data to create a secure and trusted ecosystem of mobile identities. Norweign citizens can use their BankID credentials to access government services, private industry merchants, and other services in the country.
In the digital identity community, Itsme and BankID are both seen as exemplary archetypes of how mobile-native identity systems, that are secure and seamless, can be created. Conclusively, it is going to take an ecosystem approach to facilitate an inclusive digital economy.
“What I think is important is that everyone is always looking for one solution, A one-stop-shop, and I think it’s impossible in digital identity. I think we need to work as an ecosystem,” said Sylvie. “Every business has its own ecosystem, and we need to work together with different countries or solutions to give users the best experience.“
The panel was largely in agreement that an ecosystem approach solves many of the persistent challenges that are current symptoms stemming from the data economy’s siloed nature. In each instance, both itsme and BankID leverages a community of trusted institutions to proof and issue a verified digital credential that serves as a bearer instrument of trust signals from the network. The ecosystem approach synthesizes a comprehensive view of a user's digital footprint and status from multiple institutions.
Governments and digital identity service providers developing products should continue exploring best ways to leverage partner networks to create new value streams and create better onboarding experiences for their users.
That’s a wrap! What’s next?
Many thanks to the speakers and attendees who participated in the Barcelona San Francisco KNOW Identity Forum! And a special thanks to our partner TeleSign for their continued work evolving the mobile identity and device intelligence industry. At the front lines of establishing trust in the digital age, they continue to push the conversation forward, innovate on techniques, and provide the industry with best-in-class solutions. We’re looking forward to continuing conversations like these with Telesign at our upcoming Forums in Las Vegas, this August and New York City in September. But before we get there, all KNOW roads lead to our annual KNOW Identity Conference in April 2020. With just weeks to go, secure your spot now!