Identity in the digital age poses many questions as to how government agencies can provide a frictionless experience when users move from platform to platform.
Almost everyday, Australian citizens go through processes and transactions that require them to verify their identity. Whether it’s by accessing an online account, accessing an online government service, or even just verifying an email to subscribe to product updates; these are processes that require some form of identity verification.
Proving who we are online does pose security concerns, but to many leading thinkers in the digital transformation space, online identities are inevitable and we need to think of ways to rectify the challenges that come with them.
For Régis Bauchiere, General Manager, Digital Identity Services, Trusted eCommerce Solutions, Australia Post, this move poses a key question, ‘are our current processes achieving the best outcomes?’ Bauchiere spoked at the eGovernment 2017 conference @ CeBIT Australia on how resolving the friction posed by online identities could unlock $11b of value each year.
To answer that Australia Post conducted a survey to discover what their customers wanted. Interestingly, they discovered that 70% of those surveyed still want the choice of an in-person experience.
Another key theme that emerged was the idea of control. Bauchiere observed that ‘customers want to know exactly what information I am sharing and I want to know that the information I am sharing is secure.’
Interestingly, one of the key frustrations for customers that emerged was how repetitive the process can be. ‘Customers don’t like to keep repeating information, to have to upload their driver’s licence at different points of a transaction.’
Taking these points on, Bauchiere and his team are working to offer customers ‘frictionless digital solutions without increasing the risk of fraud.’ Being able to unlock this solution could have a significant impact on Australian businesses and government organisations. According to Bauchiere, it is estimated that, ‘solving digital identity friction will unlock $11 billion of economic value each year for Australian consumers, business and government.’
For Australia Post that means providing ‘the next generation of identity service.’ One of the projects they’ve been working on is simplifying the WA police check process. The initial steps are done online, the police check, identity verification and the payment online. Once a background check is done, then they can issue a certificate in a digital format (and a physical one if needed).
What’s remarkable about this service, is that from the moment Australia Post offered it 40% of users immediately went online (and of those who used the service, 80% would do so again). They also found that:
- The error rate dropped from 15% to 3%
- Time to deliver was reduced to 15 minutes
Throughout the year, over 150,000 applications were processed and the WA police force found that the time it had taken to process these requests was freed up to focus on other parts of their work.
This one change, demonstrates what a powerful impact a fluid digital process can have on services, helping to create a bridge between government and the communities they work for.