The Role of Digital Identity in Successful Omnichannel Initiatives

Posted March 2, 2018

The Role of Digital Identity in Successful Omnichannel Initiatives

It turns out that businesses taking digital identity-centric approaches to their omnichannel business initiatives may be better positioned for secure, sustainable growth than those relying on device intelligence alone.

At the root of the problem is a prevalent misperception that “digital identity” and “device intelligence” are somehow synonymous. As I pointed out in a recent post, while both help verify the identity of the people businesses transact with via digital channels, they’re most definitely not the same thing.

One of These Is More Than the Other

In a nutshell, device intelligence helps businesses recognize specific devices associated with specific people to reduce the probability that fraudsters are impersonating legitimate users.

While that’s an important part of identity verification, digital identity encompasses a far more comprehensive approach—at the device level and beyond. The key differences include:

  1. A Unique and Ubiquitous Identifier: While device intelligence ties device and user, digital identity assigns a unique identifier to each individual that spans everything they do online, across all their devices, channels, accounts, locations and more. As a result, businesses can clearly identify legitimate users—and pinpoint fraudsters—even if it’s their first time using a site or app.
  2. Threat Detection: Another important facet of today’s digital identity solutions is threat detection capable of ferreting out hidden Trojans and malware that can compromise legitimate user sessions, even if the device and user have already been authenticated.
  3. Depth Beyond the Device: Through deep insights into device, behavior, associations and location, true digital identity provides a way to systematically quantify the risk associated with a transaction in instances when an identity is in question.
  4. Advanced Tools and Analytics: Unlike device intelligence, modern digital identity solutions include embedded case management, along with powerful analytics and visualization tools for quickly resolving discrepancies and progressively improving confidence that businesses know who they’re transacting with online.

Truth or Friction

Like it or not, Amazon, Google, Apple and others have set the new bar for customer expectations when it comes to doing business online.

Customers want what they want, when they want it, without even 10 seconds of friction—or else. And the more personalized and mobile the experience, the better.

The ability to instantly recognize the true identity of customers and spot fraudsters drives faster transactions, helping businesses deliver the speed, ease and convenience digital consumers don’t just desire, but demand.

Device intelligence plays a small role in achieving that. But digital identity does so much more—giving businesses the full context for each transaction. And it does this while reducing fraud management overhead and eliminating the drag of fraud from the equation.

Better Together

Modern digital identity-based authentication also leverages something else device intelligence lacks: shared global intelligence that enables organizations of all shapes and sizes to implement growth strategies globally—even within markets they’ve long considered too risky.

In a world where fraudsters are organizing and networking together to continuously evolve ever-more sophisticated schemes, the power of this kind of networked intelligence cannot be overstated.

With solutions like those from ThreatMetrix, for instance, anonymized, networked intelligence and tokenized digital identities are shared among thousands of businesses across every industry, everywhere around the world, in real time. As a result, the moment a fraudster or attack is recognized by one organization, it is known and neutralized by all—no matter what the bad guys cook up next.

Puzzle Piece vs. Full Picture

According to recent studies, businesses that are able to deliver the kind of omnichannel customer experience that digital identity enables stand to see revenue growth as much as 8 points above the average for their industry by attracting new customers, earning stronger customer loyalty and boosting lifetime values.

Meanwhile, those that look to device intelligence alone may find themselves needing to retool again as threats outpace the technology’s limitations. And that’s a pretty big difference, indeed.

To learn more, check out The Definitive Guide to Digital Identity, an online resource designed to further the understanding of how digital identity can help businesses thrive in the digital age.

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