Why a Little User Friction Isn’t a Bad Thing

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In digital commerce, companies often see friction as a problem to be avoided. But why do we believe friction is the enemy? Have we stopped to consider how customers may appreciate a little friction in exchange for data security?

There is so much real world evidence that people are concerned about data security. This is something I know all too well: My wife’s food delivery account has been hacked. A lot. We saw Pad Thai orders in New York when we were safe no in New York. Unknown charges at food delivery sites around the world are just the tip of the iceberg.

Poorly insured websites are a good example of what can happen when the user experience is too frictionless. Without enough friction, your data will be stolen and scammers will be held accountable. Last year alone, consumers lost more than $ 5.8 billion due to fraud. It’s time to overcome the terror we feel when we hear the words “user friction” and focus on how a little goes a long way.

Related: 3 Solutions for E-Commerce Merchants Fighting Fraud

It all starts with incorporation

The incorporation process is when most potential customers jump in, so user friction is a particular concern at this stage. You probably know the statistics on trolley abandonment: about 70% of shoppers abandon their trolleys online, 57% will get away with it if the site takes three seconds to load, and so on. With up to 34% of users citing account creation requirements as a reason to abandon them. his car, it is clear that friction plays an important role in these statistics.

But why do these customers want to avoid creating an account? Is it because it’s just a hassle or a step too far to create a password, choose security questions, and verify your email? Probably, but the growing demand for better security of personal data also comes into play here. There is an information fatigue factor here with customers. With each site that contains your data, you are more at risk. It opens users to another possible cyber violation, because a company is not properly securing their data.

We can fix this incorporation process, but it will require a paradigm shift to ensure that customers understand why friction should occur at the beginning of this process. It’s a trade-off: a little friction for a lot of safety. Fortunately, people are already comfortable with facial biometrics to unlock their smartphones, and this level of convenience is also beginning to translate into online banking. We can use this impetus to incorporate similar technology into other industries. First, though, we need to take the time to explain to customers exactly why we need a selfie to create an account.

Security is key. People are smart and concerned about the security of their data online. However, unfortunately, customers will often see account creation as an unnecessarily cumbersome process without seeing the benefit of greater protection of their data. Suppose we can convince them that taking a quick selfie and uploading a photo of their ID for verification is a step that will greatly improve their online security. In this case, I think we’ll see a quick hug of this little extra friction. In many cases, it is even faster than regular account creation. But first, we need to build trust with our customers because a little friction now means a safer, simpler experience every time they log in.

Also, in this step it is necessary to check the identity document to ensure that the person taking the selfie is really the person they claim to be using this government document. You can quickly scan an ID with a cell phone and make a decision in seconds. This friction of identity proof achieves a few things. First, this verification step provides security for both the user and the business before a person has access to applications or services. Second, users will save time by not having to manually enter their personal data, as they can be instantly extracted from the document to fill out forms automatically. This is crucial for someone like me, who tries to move forward quickly and constantly makes mistakes when entering my information. Finally, it means that a user will save time later in the purchase process (we will get to that part soon).

Statistics guarantee that people want a little more security. Nearly three-quarters of users in the United States, the United Kingdom, and China feel safe when asked to verify their identity with biometrics when they sign up for online services. In addition, by adding fuel to the fire that friction is necessary for businesses, nearly half of users believe brands should be responsible for protecting their digital identity.

Related: Addresses these 10 common causes of customer friction to maximize success

Friction is better than fraud

From the customer’s point of view, a few extra seconds during account creation outweigh all the time, headaches, and costs that can result from fraud on an insecure website or application. Capturing a selfie is no more strenuous in practice than figuring out security questions or a complex password, and greatly reduces users ’friction in later logins.

Changing the user incorporation experience will also benefit businesses. There is a lot of background support that serves to help customers with login issues or look for fraudulent activities. This amount of customer interaction also increases the company’s vulnerability to lost sales. Simplifying the account security process using technology such as facial authentication would alleviate the need for expensive call centers dedicated to user security. Banks should not hire people to call and ask about possible fraudulent charges. A simple selfie would allow immediate authentication with a solid subscription.

Companies that deal with the sensitive information of their customers receive customer loyalty in return, and the opposite is also true: about a quarter of American consumers reduced or stopped doing business with companies that suffered a data breach. Making the switch to a bit of friction and continuous safety means good things for both companies and their customers.

Related: 3 breakdowns in the customer experience that buyers hate

Speed ​​and safety

However, the friction associated with facial authentication only applies minimally to incorporation. Once you’ve created an account and verified your identity, the login process will be made much easier simply by the ability to use a biometric selfie for future authentication. Think about how easy it is to unlock your mobile device – just grab it and look at it. Rarely, or never, do you have problems with the device not recognizing you. The same could happen for business platforms that adopt a new way of doing business. This is a much faster process than any other method, from passwords, passwords, knowledge-based authentication (KBA) or even voice verification.

There is a balance between user experience and security. A bad initial proof of identity is a big risk, not only for customers, but also for the brand reputation of companies and their fraud costs. Fraud costs are rising: every $ 1 of fraud now costs U.S. retailers $ 3.36, up from $ 3.13 in 2019. Incorporating this friction at the beginning of the process also benefits others. ways: allows a perfect subscription to combat growing threats like synthetic. fraud and friendly fraud. Businesses simply cannot afford to avoid friction.

I understand why companies may distrust this initial friction of users. Adding a potential hurdle to the incorporation process is daunting with the prevalence of abandoned carts and uncreated accounts. But think about how much better the experience will be for both businesses and consumers. No more annoying one-time passwords, no more passwords you don’t remember, and no more security questions you don’t remember either. Instead, we are talking about streamlining the entire account creation and maintenance process with a substantial increase in security. Who wouldn’t want that?

Related: What customers expect from their digital experience

Take the oil and embrace the friction. We must not run away from friction. There is good friction, even in the world of user experience. For example, when we first logged in, passwords like “password” were considered secure. Creating a more complex password was a form of friction, but today no one would argue about it. The same can happen now, and customers will respond favorably if companies take the time to explain the “why” behind the new steps.

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