It’s easy to develop a sizable list of online accounts when almost every website or programme requires a login and password. According to a study by Nordpass, the average person is estimated to have over 100 different passwords.
Keeping track of all these identities is difficult, which prompts many users to engage in risky behaviours (like using the same username and simple password for multiple accounts) to keep track of them. This system is undoubtedly neither convenient nor secure, but fortunately, there’s a better solution: reusable digital identities.
What are reusable digital identities?
Reusable digital identities are verified credentials that can be used both online and off at any time to prove a person’s identity. These digital IDs could contain a variety of identifying data, such as individual ID numbers, birthdates, biometric data, citizenship details, and more. In today’s post-COVID climate, they may even contain medical data, such as immunisation records.
In order for a digital identity to be reusable, it should be interoperable across different services, platforms and devices, just as a passport is used to grant access to certain public and private services (like entering a country or boarding a private airline).
In recent years, countries across the world have started electronic ID projects, spurred on by extensive investment measures by both governments and big tech businesses (including Google, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung). e-Estonia, Aadhaar and Singpass (the national ID systems of Estonia, India, and Singapore, respectfully) are some notable examples of success, where streamlined systems that undergird the same level of trust experienced in face-to-face equivalents, have led to widespread adoption. In these countries, citizens enjoy easy access to a large array of public and private sector services, boosting economic inclusion.
Inspired by the success of these countries, similar ventures are kicking off globally at an astounding pace. According to one study, the reusable identity market size is expected to soar from $32.8 billion to $266.5 billion within five years (2022 -2027), at a CAGR of 68.9%.
Convenience is, of course, one of the driving forces for a single digital ID. Even though password managers are widely available, many people still find it difficult to manage all of their identities. According to one study, 21% of users forget passwords after just 2 weeks, and 25% forget a password at least once a day. Individuals would enjoy a lot easier, more simplified, experience with only one reliable ID.
One of the benefits of implementing a digital ID standard is that it helps to ensure that personal data is shared in a way that is appropriate and safe. This way, individuals can feel more confident when submitting their information to service providers, reducing the risk of hackers gaining access to that data.
The specifications and standards for various IDs vary greatly. Reusable digital IDs provide a chance to harmonise regulations, streamline information sharing, and enable any organization—from national governments to tiny businesses—to operate with a single identity.
Compliance with consumer data protections can be difficult, especially when different laws and regulations mandate different practices. Reusable digital IDs will make it easier for businesses to comply with these mandates by incorporating privacy-by-design principles into the ID creation process. This will make it easier for businesses to keep up with changes to the law and make compliance efforts more streamlined.
Naturally, this is by no means a comprehensive overview of the benefits of reusable digital identities. Interoperable networks and digital ID ecosystems offer businesses the opportunity to provide their customers with a variety of advantages. These may include the prevention of fraud, increased customer loyalty, limiting access to third-party marketing channels and the assurance of having access to accurate information. Depending on the specific needs of customers, businesses can develop tailor-made solutions that will benefit all parties involved.
Learn more about how to create Digital IDs and onboard customers remotely.