Brits wary of manual account onboarding and authentication

As digital account usage spikes, UK consumers concerned about privacy and security of their online accounts, says Onfido survey

Posted 25 November 2020 by Christine Horton

UK consumers have expressed concerns about the security and privacy of their online accounts.

A new survey by identity verification and authentication vendor Onfido shows that more people are setting up online accounts since COVID lockdowns in March, yet a high number have abandoned the process lost revenue opportunities for businesses.

Between April and July 2020, almost two-thirds (65 percent) of Brits increased how often they access products and services online, with 22 percent reporting they accessed their online accounts at least 50 percent more than usual during this time. However, this increased use of online services has led to several concerns about security and privacy when signing up to new accounts. 

“We are not surprised that COVID lockdowns would increase the use of online accounts, but the rate of abandonment during account sign up due to security and privacy concerns was surprising to us,” said Robert Humphrey, chief marketing officer and strategist at Onfido.

“This shines a light on an opportunity for UK businesses to provide a more seamless, user-friendly process, while still engaging strong identity verification in order to improve account onboarding and authentication.”

The top three concerns for UK consumers are that data will be passed on to third parties (53 percent), the security of the information provided (52 percent), and asking for too much information (37 percent).

Moreover, Brits have stated that manually completing online forms with personal information including address history, date of birth and government ID information is both inconvenient (32 percent) and insecure (29 percent).

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that more than four-in-ten (43 percent) have abandoned signing up for a new account or service when asked to do so.  “This abandonment rate suggests that businesses are missing out on new revenue opportunities from new customers,” said Humphrey. “Abandoning at account set up is akin to a customer walking into a brick and mortar store and turning around and walking out without making a purchase.”

The report has also confirmed that consumers care about working with businesses they trust with 53 percent of Brits stating they will not use a business they do not trust.

Document and biometric checks

Onfido argues that the introduction of document and biometric checks has, however, been shown to increase trust in a business. Across all countries surveyed, 80 percent of consumers said they trust businesses that use document and biometric checks, compared to those who use other methods (67 percent). 

In the UK specifically, a third (33 percent) of Brits stated that using a photo of a government ID (passport, driver’s license etc.) and taking a selfie with a mobile device is a convenient way to create an online account. Furthermore, they highlighted that it shows a company is invested in their security (49 percent) and privacy (34 percent). 

What’s more, UK consumers have identified in which business sectors they would prefer to use document and biometric checks. Within financial services, for instance, more than half (59 percent) would like to use identity document verification (IDV) to open a bank account, while 26 percent would opt for this option to open a trading or investing account. Furthermore, Brits would like to use IDV to check-in for flights (45 percent), hotels (26 percent) and to rent a vehicle (27 percent).