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What digital identities mean for business

The longer we spend online, the more apps we use, the more information we share, the stronger our digital identity. And that presents an opportunity for businesses to communicate better with us.

There’s an explosion in connected tech, and it’s changing the way people expect to talk to the brands they use. If we’re online, we have a digital identity. A permanent collection of information about us. Each time we post a picture, a blog, a tweet or a status, we’re adding to our digital identity.

Digital interactions are the fastest growing way for brands to connect with their customers. Our characters are now increasingly defined by the tech we use and the websites we visit. It becomes a core part of who we are emotionally and physically. And brands can now use that information in a much better way (along with a whole range of data protection safeguards to protect and manage how customer data can be used).

Understanding your customer’s mood allows you to know how they feel towards you and make sure your message is being understood. And technology is increasingly playing a part in that understanding. Car manufacturer Bentley uses its Inspirator app to track facial changes while customers watch visual stimuli. The emotional responses are then turned into marketing recommendations. We can expect to see more of this sort of thing in the near future.


Your body is your password

Biometrics are doing even more to blur the line between real and digital identities. If you’ve ever unlocked your phone with your fingerprint then you’re already using it. But your identity can also be ascertained by hand or earlobe shape, your retina and iris patterns, voice waves, DNA, even your heartbeat. These are unique to everyone. And they’re especially useful in financial services, where it’s crucial to know someone is who they say they are. Particularly when they’re paying for something.

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is planning to use biometrics. When they arrive, visitors will be able to scan their fingerprints and link them to their debit or credit card. They can then pay in restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops just by scanning their finger. And in Australia there are plans to use digital passports with a traveller’s identity and biometric digital data being stored in the cloud which can then be retrieved at borders for identification purposes.

In a world where 24% of shoppers have given up because the queue was too long, and 9% have abandoned an online purchase because the process took too much time, a simpler, quicker way to pay becomes crucial. Using your mobile to pay, with security checks and verification already built in, can also speed up the payment process – and surely that’s something almost every business could do with.

More technology. More connections. More information. More opportunities to know your customer and personalise your offerings. Ask questions, use surveys and social media. Get to know their digital identities. And give your business a boost in 2017.



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