The changing face of consumer identity: 5 predictions

Apple will become an identity provider

While the introduction of Apple Pay in 2014 marked Apple’s first real foray into identity, 2015 will be the year that Tim Cook and crew stake their claim as a true third-party consumer Identity Provider (IdP). With over 200 million credit cards on file, deep relationships with financial institutions, knowledge of users’ on-device browsing behaviors, and insight into app downloads and usage, Apple has the ability to provide its millions of customers with unprecedented relevance and convenience as they move across the web. By making Apple ID usable outside of the brand’s own products and services, Apple has the potential to majorly disrupt the Identity landscape and position Apple ID as the new standard for consumer identity in 2015.

Payment providers will become mainstream IdPs on mobile devices

According to The Goldman Sachs Group, worldwide mobile commerce sales will account for nearly half of total web sales by 2018. With more than 60% of consumers likely to choose social over traditional registration when using mobile devices, expect to see a spike in share of social logins for payment providers like PayPal, Amazon and Google. On top of making it fast and easy for consumers to authenticate at site entry, these payment providers reduce barrier to checkout by pre-populating purchase fields with shoppers’ existing payment details, simplifying the mobile checkout process to just a few taps.

> See also: Barclays first in UK to launch finger-vein authentication

Facebook will maintain its majority position as an IdP

Despite fierce competition across the social login landscape, Facebook has managed to cling to its position as the majority IdP across devices, industries and locations. In fact, the world’s largest social network even made incremental gains following the addition of new Facebook Login consumer data controls in Q2 2014. These new features, which include line-by-line permissions and anonymous login, have had a positive impact on consumers’ perception of the social network and usage of Facebook as an IdP, which we will continue to see throughout 2015.

Yahoo’s presence as an IdP will disappear

It’s hard to believe that Yahoo’s quarterly share of social logins has fallen from anotable 18% to a dismal 6% in just one year. Not to mention, the network’s once 21% share of logins across North America has dropped 15 percentage points since Q3 2013. Once an identity provider of note, Yahoo will continue to face a steady decline as networks like Facebook and Google+ edge the company out of the IdP game. Despite its attempt to own consumer identity on its ‘home base’ by barring Facebook and Google+ login across major Yahoo properties, Yahoo will have to find a way to increase the value of users’ Yahoo identities to continue to rank as a third-party IdP – a move that the network is unlikely to make.

‘Identity 3.0’ will take hold

In the late 1990s, Microsoft Passport helped introduce the concept of third-party identity across the web by enabling consumers to login to various sites using a single username and password. Facebook Connect and other social identity providers ushered in the second generation of web identity, allowing users to login with existing social media identities while providing brands with the information needed to personalise user experiences. Yet as consumers’ real identities become increasingly intertwined with their virtual lives, we can expect Identity 3.0 to come to full fruition in 2015. 

> See also: Double duty: true two-factor authentication explained

Identity 3.0 goes beyond social identities to include next-generation authentication methods, increased security and new applications of identity. 2014 saw the onset of Identity 3.0 as more consumers leveraged payment providers like PayPal to verify their identities and streamline checkout across ecommerce properties. The introduction of Twitter Digits, which allows users to authenticate using their phone numbers, and ApplePay’s Touch ID, which uses biometrics to identify shoppers at the POS, also marked the beginning stages of Identity 3.0.

Sourced from Patrick Salyer, CEO of Gigya

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...