How ID Verification is Building Trust in the Share Economy

Ashley H

The sharing economy has experienced rapid growth in the last five years and is only set to grow in the future with a projected worth of $335 billion by 2025.

Pioneers of the share economy, Uber and Airbnb have grown to dominate globally in their respective transport and accomodation fields, disrupting the previous status quo. Uber alone has amassed 75 million passengers and 3 million drivers in over 600 cities around the world.

The Theme of Trust

And yet only 19% of consumers are actually using these shared economy services. When questioned about their participation in shared services, 72% of people expressed that they have reservations relating to whether they could actually trust these companies and the people using them. The theme of trust was also a prevalent issue with users of the shared economy, with 89% of consumers saying that the entire basis of shared services is the trust between the providers and users.

Given that every 45 seconds in Australia alone, an identity crime is taking place, people are right to question the identities of the people they’re conducting business with. Being able to verify that the passenger you let into your car or the person who’s house you’re staying in are who they say they are, has never been more important.

This being the case, in order for the share economy to continue its rapid growth, the companies involved must prioritise fostering a sense of trust amongst its users, which can only be done by finding appropriate ways of authenticating the identities of their consumers.  Knowing the people you’re dealing with have been properly vetted, checked and are not a threat is now possible with ID verification technologies.

In the past, users in the shared economy have been able to verify their identity through social media accounts and answering simple security based questions. However in this age of data breaches, these methods are no longer as reliable as they once were. It doesn’t take much for a hacker to use a user’s email address, password, phone number and date of birth to gain access to any number of online accounts and commit identity fraud by taking over an account or opening up new ones.

ID Verification in the Share Economy

Now however, verifying identities can be as simple as using your phone’s camera to take a picture of your driver’s license or by taking a selfie to cross check against an international database of records in real-time. ID verification works to the benefit of both sides of the sharing business. People sharing their cars or their houses can be assured the people using their property are not only who they say they are, but have been checked via official government recognised sources of ID and will treat their property and themselves with respect. And customers of the share economy can rest easy knowing the people they are entrusting with their transport and accommodation are not scamming them or spoofing the system.

Common scams involving fake ID’s and fake bookings can now be avoided and peer to peer trust can be established and maintained. The use of ID verification can be used from the onset of a new user joining the business. Drivers or hosts can be verified upon signing up, at the booking stage and upon commencement of the service being provided just as the recipients of the services can be.

With the adoption of ID verification technologies, share economy companies are demonstrating they are putting trust at the top of their list to ensure their consumers and their digital identities are as safe as they can be. Consumers can rest easy knowing the people they are sharing part of their lives with are reliable and trustworthy and enjoy the many benefits the share economy provides.