Frictionless is a word that has started appearing more and more. It is one of those strange words that the technology world takes for its own and frictionlessly slips it into our language as if it has always been there.
It is, however, a good word.
A recent Disruptive.Asia feature discussed how frictionless onboarding of bank accounts is taking over in the Philippines. The prospect of having to go into a branch and handle documents, while being face to face with an actual human is simply not acceptable any more.
As Jonathan Jensen says in his piece on identity, the same applies across the board. Every company that deals with people needs to have frictionless ways of verifying them at each point it is needed. In the new normal, ‘not providing consumers with a digital identity verification process will put an organisation at a commercial disadvantage.’
The trend, as with many things, was going in this direction anyway. COVID-19 simply made it more urgent but it will not be a passing phase.
Digital identity is, of course, a major issue. It is also one that is the responsibility of the telecoms operator – or at least should be. As the provider of service, the operator is the stakeholder that opens the door to the digital world.
This is both an opportunity and a threat.
The opportunity is for operators to move up the trust scale with their customers. Trust is an asset and already operators are climbing the ladder during the pandemic. If they can provide frictionless identity checks, in partnership with others if needed, this will set them in good stead as we come out of it.
It is also a threat, as the fines for failing are steep. The list of companies that have been breached and identities stolen is long and the amount those companies have been fined is steep – reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Digital identity is one of the last keys that will truly unlock a seamless digital world. Now, the experience must be frictionless if that last hurdle is to be overcome.
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