Consumers hesitate, but continue to forego security for expediency

November 14, 2019

We want what we want, when we want it

In today’s “always on” era, consumers want technology and services that not only fit into their lives and routines, but that make busy schedules easier. Convenience (66%) is the number one benefit respondents see when using digital identity, followed by speed (49%) and access (31%). These results aren't surprising given how our society operates today. Consumers have come to expect instant gratification and want to be able to complete tasks when, where and how they want.  What we haven’t theoretically thought through is how many crumbs of our digital selves we are exposing.  Our digital identity is being formed without our control but with nascent consent. In fact, when asked about security consumers cling to old habits they believe are more secure. That looming mistrust over potential security concerns when using digital identities seems to cause respondents to prefer verifying their identity via methods they are more familiar with, including going to a branch to verify their ID when opening a new bank account. 


Seventy six percent of consumers are extremely or very concerned about the possibility of having their personal information stolen by using digital identities, with 60% noting they feel powerless to protect their identity in the digital world. One can’t blame a consumer for clinging to security measures of the past, which may seem like the “safe” bet.  But passwords, security questions and digital signature may actually be more susceptible to cyber-attacks and fraud. In fact, according to a 2019 report on data breaches2, 80% of hacking-related breaches are caused by compromised, weak and reused passwords.  “As more consumers become comfortable using digital identity, companies have an obligation to educate consumers on the use and safeguard of their digital identities,” says Cindy White, MItek's Vice President of Global Strategy. “There is a growing expectation that completing a transaction, signing up for a service or making a purchase should not just be fast and easy, but also secure. As such, it is no longer enough to just use a social login or knowledge-based authentication. Companies need to step up and deploy advanced identity verification methods while also educating consumers on the value and importance of this technology.”

1. “2019 Data Breach Investigations Report,” Verizon. May 2019. https://enterprise.verizon. com/resources/reports/dbir/ 

Research Methodology
Mitek, in partnership with OpinionRoute, surveyed 1000+ respondents located in the United States and over the age of 18 on their awareness and use of digital identity. The survey was fielded from July 9-16, 2019, and included 40 questions on respondent’s awareness, comfort level, usage, benefits and concerns about digital identity, as well as demographic information on respondent’s location. Results were collected with an overall margin of error of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence level.