Customers Abandon Companies with Bad Authentication

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Frustration with cumbersome and repetitive authentication processes is overwhelmingly causing consumers to search for brands and digital experiences that securely unify and simplify identity verification, according to a new report by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network and CMO Council.

The study found that a huge majority (81 percent) prefer to do business with companies that do a better job of recognizing and verifying their identity simply, quickly, and safely. More than 60 percent of respondents have abandoned business transactions due to authentication frustration.

Problems with passwords remain a major grievance of consumers, who say they strongly prefer physical biometric authentication methods, such as voice, facial, and fingerprint recognition. Almost seven in 10 consumers (68 percent) say they have problems remembering and using passwords. Forty-percent report using at least 11 passwords, including 23 percent who have 16 or more.

"Password pain is hardly a new phenomenon. Yet it continues to be a persistent problem for consumers," said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council and BPI Network, who adds that companies "need to listen to what consumers are so clearly telling them. Simplify and improve authentication and you will gain customer loyalty and grow your business. Fail to do so and you can expect greater customer churn and revenue losses."

"Data protection, privacy, and identity theft are massive challenges for today's digital business world," said George Skaff, senior vice president of marketing at Daon. "Companies need to adopt an identity continuity model of authentication, in which biometric and non-biometric factors come together on a single platform to create a unified identity experience across the entire customer relationship lifecycle, from identity proofing and onboarding to authentication and recovery."

Among other key findings in the report are the following:

  • 85 percent of respondents say a difficult authentication process reflects negatively on a company and its brands.
  • Financial services companies are a frequent source of authentication frustration.
  • The Most vexing problems with passwords are keeping track of numerous passwords (55 percent), needing to re-create passwords (43 percent), being asked to strengthen passwords (34 percent), and coming up with new passwords (25 percent.
  • Consumers overwhelmingly prefer biometric authentication, including voice, fingerprint, face, eyes, and behaviors. Forty-four percent "absolutely" believe biometric authentication is an easier and better form of verification, and 34 percent would prefer to use biometrics as long as it is secure.

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