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Optimizing the Onboarding Flow: Biometrics

TransUnion
Blog Post09/02/2021
Business Fraud and Identity Management
Optimizing the Onboarding Flow: Biometrics

Consider consumer expectations, compliance and brand positioning when using biometrics in your onboarding process

Science fiction has a rich history in predicting — with some accuracy — technological advancements. Jules Verne’s novel From the Earth to the Moon (1865) anticipated space travel, whilst Fritz Langs’ visionary film Metropolis (1927) showed a world full of robots.

In the late 20th century and early 2000s, facial recognition was a futuristic fantasy — the preserve of films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Minority Report. Fast-forward to 2017 when Apple launched Face ID on the iPhone X which triggered the technology’s early adoption: Google Trends captures increased consumer interest in the technology — and by default, biometrics (as shown in Figure 1).

Graph of increased consumer interest in the technology — and by default, biometricsFigure 1: Google Trends: facial recognition system

Figure 2 demonstrates its move along the adoption curve; the spike reflecting increased interest in its functionality during the pandemic. In just four years, a revolutionary technology has become a trusted way for consumers to transact.

Graph displaying the spike reflecting increased interest in its functionality during the pandemicFigure 2: Google Trends: iphone facial recognition with mask

Facial recognition is increasingly common during onboarding flows across financial services, insurance and telco. Deployed in a friction-right journey, alongside other identity verification solutions, it can help accelerate the application process, deter fraudsters and support brand positioning efforts. However, whilst we’re living in the age of the selfie, asking consumers to capture themselves (static image or video) is high effort. The wrong solution (used in a poorly designed onboarding experience) could lead to conversion attrition and increased fraud risks, and put a drag on overall performance.

Putting the use case for biometric solutions under the spotlight

Research in 2020 pointed to the influential role biometrics (fingerprint, facial or voice recognition) would have, with 85% of executives believing they’d be used to authenticate the majority of payments in the next 10 years.1

From the consumer’s perspective, TransUnion research found the majority are in favour of advanced identity verification, such as one-time passcodes or facial recognition, in their financial services relationships (Table 1). The implication is that consumers increasingly expect businesses to bake in robust security checks into aspirational and intuitive customer experiences (CX). An additional benefit of embedding these solutions into onboarding flows is they can act as a deterrent to fraudsters, moving them away from your ecosystem before they do damage.

 

 

In which situations would you want to be asked for advanced identity verification, such as facial recognition or one-time passcodes delivered via email or text? (Select all that apply)

 

 

Market

 

 

Total

Brazil

Canada

Colombia

Hong Kong

India

Philippines

South Africa

UK

US

Onboarding

Applying for a financial product online

39%

41%

34%

45%

39%

42%

33%

42%

42%

38%

Creating an online account at a financial services company

43%

46%

36%

36%

33%

48%

46%

49%

44%

43%

Login

Logging in to an existing online account at a financial services company

38%

38%

33%

34%

32%

38%

34%

47%

42%

38%

Changing account information at a financial services company

38%

38%

40%

30%

30%

39%

27%

43%

45%

43%

NA

None of the above

24%

18%

36%

20%

29%

13%

19%

16%

22%

30%

 

With the pandemic moving more consumers online and putting pressure on businesses to deliver outstanding digital onboarding experiences, it’s clear in the 2020s, the biometric evolution will offer new ways to secure and accelerate processes.

Achieving the best outcomes from biometric solutions

With competition fierce — TransUnion research indicates one in three consumers globally are planning to apply for new credit or refinance existing credit (e.g., mortgage, auto loan/lease, credit card, personal loan, student loan) within the next year — optimizing the onboarding flow is a top priority. Businesses need to fully interrogate biometric solutions and their potential to complement a hybrid approach to identity verification while supporting overarching CX and compliance goals.

For example, facial verification can reduce the trade-off between fraud and security, and support efforts to look and feel like a leading technology brand. It’s crucial, however, that a facial recognition solution:

  • Makes onboarding convenient and doesn’t create too much friction
  • Is inclusive
  • Prevents fraud — deterring fraudsters and more accurately detecting fraud by being built to robust security and compliance specifications

The right technology working with other solutions can help successfully corroborate identity. Document verification is a great example of how layered identity verification solutions can shorten the application process. By more securely, quickly and accurately validating consumer-provided identity documents against trusted data sources, you can reduce identity fraud risks while offering a convenient, digital customer experience.

As adoption of biometrics increases, it’s crucial businesses explore available options, and ensure integration into the onboarding flow matches or exceeds customer expectations and supports commercial objectives. Don’t get left behind — a proactive approach now can better position your business to keep pace with this evolving technology… that seems to be here to stay.

Make streamlined experiences and happy customers a reality

Do you want to unlock the potential your onboarding flow and make your first impression count? We help businesses transform their onboarding flow through innovative data solutions and analytics. Work with us to realize your customer experience ambitions, improve fraud capture rates, and discover new ways to drive improvements that benefit teams across your business.

To learn more about the benefits of optimizing your customer onboarding experience, download our new insight guide, Digital Onboarding: A Guide to Unlocking Growth.


1 New Dimensions of Change: Building trust in a digital consumer landscape, The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, 2020

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