Trust – the final barrier to online trade
Trust is becoming a big issue for online traders. Unlike marketplaces where feedback trust mechanisms are the norm as soon as you set up your own website how do your customers know that they can trust you? Google are running a trial of Google Trusted Stores, which has already attracted a patent lawsuit from buySAFE for patent infringement and 2012 will be the year Trust starts to be addressed online.
Today James Varga, CEO of miiCard, a Canadian entrepreneur with over 15 years of technology and internet marketing solutions introduces miiCard, one option which could address the online Trust issue.
Identity theft related fraud is on the rise
We live in a world where we now use the Internet every day for shopping, banking, socialising, working and learning. We want more of the convenience and choice that comes with being online but neither consumers nor businesses want an increased risk of fraud or identity theft.
In this modern age types of fraud is starting to change. While we start to reduce security and transactional fraud there are huge increases in fraud relating to identity theft, impersonation and false documentation. Indeed almost 72% of fraud over the Christmas period was predicted to relate to identity related issues, at an estimated cost of almost £70m (Sources: CIFAS and IRMG).
As both sales and the number of people shopping online grow so does the demand for the ability to do higher value business online. Yet while we’re already starting to see more high value transactions, such as the purchase of used cars, antiques and art, this growth has come with an increased level of personal risk.
With the digital economy outpacing normal GDP growth (contribution to overall GDP now stands at 7.2%, and is expected to reach as much as 10%-13% over the next few years) we can’t afford this barrier to trade.
Trust will unlock the full potential of trade online
With the number of those connected on the Internet having reached two billion, a figure that is increasing by 200 million each year, the possibilities for trade are clear. To fully capitalise on this opportunity, online traders and retailers should be looking to create trust, fight fraud and protect consumers.
Online identity verification, equivalent to a primary ID check, like sighting a passport or driver’s licence, will play a key part in unlocking the full potential of Internet trade.
While it is easier for the large retailers to establish trust online, smaller, independent retailers and sole traders have to work harder.
As the first user-centric, federated service to prove identity to Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer standard purely online, miiCard (My Internet Identity) represents trust in a digital economy providing a catalyst to doing more, higher value, business online.
By proactively proving one’s own identity online a small e-retailer, trader or power seller can help build trust by providing the necessary reassurance and traceability to encourage potential buyers.
A solution like miiCard gives traders a way of creating real trust with their customers, proving ‘I am who I say I am’ with the same level of accountability and traceability as a driver’s licence or passport.
Similarly, where a retailer uses a system such as miiCard to conduct the primary identity check on customers to support high value sales they stand to benefit from:
- Increased conversion by supporting a purely online, real-time, sales process;
- Reduced cost of execution by not having to validate one’s identity offline or physically;
- Additional fraud and identity theft protection.
Until now, online ID verification has only been able to prove something about you, such as an address or Credit Reference check. This doesn’t carry enough assurance to base a business transaction on where regulations require identity validation, as is the case with high-value purchases where the Anti-Money Laundering check applies.
miiCard provides an identity verification service to AML standard that works purely online and in real-time. At only £12 per year we believe it’s a low cost way for a sole trader, power seller or cottage industry business to build trust with their customers.
We’d love to get your thoughts, examples of where you see a need for primary ID checks in online trading, and any other solutions or alternatives that you know of. Please post in the comments section below or contact me at [email protected].