What Is Reusable Identity?

Portable and reusable identity help streamline the user onboarding process.

Reusable identity is an innovative approach in digital identity management that helps streamline the user onboarding process. Reusable identity can replace the existing complicated identity management process to grant users access without the need to manage and secure identity components while eliminating repetitive processes in identity and access management.  

In the existing setup, online users complete a unique personal profile every time they register themselves on a new website that system owners must manage. While the signup process may be short, it can become extremely frustrating to verify identity, create new credentials, and fill countless individual profiles on multiple online platforms.

Portable and reusable identity helps streamline the user onboarding process.

Considering that an average business user uses almost 200 different online accounts, verifying identity and sharing personal data can take its toll. Sharing personal information has additional caveats, which are often manifested in the form of data leakage and identity theft. Every time someone shares information, the data is prone to hacking attempts. The use of many systems, complicated and repetitive onboarding process, and security concerns are making reusable identity the foundation of our new digital economy.

To safeguard customer loyalty and trust, businesses are turning to privacy-protecting reusable digital identities that can give people more control, security, and shorter signup time. A reusable identity gives people access to online services from a single unified platform. As a result, there is no need to collect and maintain identity information.

This digital identification technology is already helping consumers sign up for multiple platforms without the need to verify their credentials more than once. Using a single identity management platform, anyone can easily verify and share personal information on government websites, register with doctors, take out insurance, collect prescriptions, open a bank account, get a mobile phone, buy travel tickets, and use almost any type of online platform that requires personal identification. The scalability, security, improved customer experience, and ease of identity management offered by portable identity offer an opportunity to benefit from this new approach in digital identity management.

A reusable ID app can securely store personal information, which is easily federated when transacting with a new entity enabling many-to-many relationships between consumers and businesses. The research also predicts that the market for reusable ID apps will grow from $32.8 billion in 2022 to $266.5 billion by 2027.

Why We Need Reusable Identity

The concept of reusable identity has emerged from the need to provide a solution that brings the digital world something, which is comparable to an identity card in the physical world. For instance, in the physical world, the ID card, Driving License, and Passport are the three main types of IDs that are used to prove identity. A typical user can use these IDs almost anywhere because they’re universally accepted forms of verification.

Unlike the physical world, the digital sphere operates on different principles. In it, the user has unique credentials for almost every online platform. Besides usernames and passwords, different types of websites require different information. This is precisely where a reusable ID makes sense because it allows online users to use a single credential to prove that they are who they say they are.

Digital Identity Management: The Customer Journey

As we inch towards Web 3.0, almost 88% of consumers acknowledge that the security of their data is the most important factor during the onboarding process. However, the existing multi-step onboarding flows don’t address the issue because personal data is vulnerable every time a user creates a new account. After the registration, insecure password-based authentication continues to hamper the boarding process by creating additional security loopholes.

To deal with the issue, governments, personal data stores, big tech, consumer digital identity companies have already started offering solutions to businesses. These solutions streamline the customer journey by providing a unified digital identity management platform. Here are just a few examples of such initiatives:

Government: There are more than 40 eID schemes introduced by the governments of various countries. After creating and verifying the identity, users can access public services without creating additional profiles. E-estonia and singpass are just two of the popular examples.

Personal Data Stores: Online platforms such as Digi.me and Dataswift allow individuals to share their data with multiple organizations around the world.

Big Tech: Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung are companies that are actively collaborating to create a unified consumer-facing identity solution. Today, users can use a single online social profile to access online solutions from these vendors and their partners.

Consumer Digital ID: 1Password and LastPass are examples of popular digital identity wallets that let users store their IDs, passwords, and documents in the cloud.

Backend Identity Solutions: Jumio and ID.me offer retail-centric solutions to customers so they don’t have to input credit card and ID details every time they shop on a particular website.

How Businesses Can Benefit From Customer Identity Management

A robust customer identity management portal allow businesses to streamline the onboarding process and provide better customer services. It helps by:

  • Improving login process using pre-verified credentials.
  • Enhancing customer privacy by limiting the amount of data transfer containing personal information.
  • Ensuring compliance with the latest local and international laws.
  • Allowing the customer additional freedom to share only the information required to verify the identity.
  • Consolidating identity management across different devices and platforms.
  • Restricting access to unwanted third-party marketing channels.

Of course, these are not the only benefits. Depending on the needs of customers, businesses can develop unique interoperable networks, public-private partnerships, and digital ID ecosystems. Perhaps, it is one of the best ways to prevent fraud, improve loyalty, and ensure access to correct data for every customer.

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