New research reveals many organisations do still not see the value of digital ID

  • New research by Open Identity Exchange (OIX) and Daon found that acceptors of digital ID lack engagement.
  • Despite clear digital ID progress around the globe, many relying party organisations in the UK still see it as ‘an unfinished article’.
  • Many are unfamiliar with it, confused by terminology and positioning.
  • ‘What’s in it for my organisation and why should we prioritise it as an investment spend over incumbent solutions?’ was a reoccurring theme.
  • Some industry sectors want regulators and industry bodies to confirm that digital ID solutions fit their risk regime; helping to manage downstream liability concerns.

New UK based research carried out by the non-profit Open Identity Exchange (OIX) and Daon, a global leader in cross channel identity and biometric solutions, has revealed high levels of ongoing uncertainty around digital Identity.

The new UK research – Relying Party Views on Adoption Readiness – sought to benchmark relying party organisational thinking about digital identity, seeking to ‘temperature check’ what it means to different buyers in different industry sectors.

The research highlighted that industry explanation and technical language adds uncertainty and confusion. Multiple different interchangeable descriptions were used during the research and meant different things to different respondents. There was an accompanying feeling that digital ID is therefore steeped in technical complexity, making it ‘hard to understand’ and a ‘major turn-off’.

Organisations want to see real-life examples of digital ID in action, driving value for different types of organisations, use cases and, importantly, the end user experience.

The third core theme of the research is linked to language and value. Respondents in regulated businesses wanted clarity that regulators and industry professional bodies were comfortable with digital ID being used in their risk frameworks. They wanted confidence that it was transparent, could lead to required outcomes and met the standards and guidance that was required for their type of business.

The research highlights that simple value explanations, showcases of the ‘art of the possible’, delivered in plain language and confirming any risk framework guidance, will be critical in building market confidence and consideration.

The research also revealed a perception of digital ID as disconnected and, to some degree, divergent. It revealed views that private and public sector is not always aligned, and whilst regulation is awaited, expectations are emerging and adapting.

The different global obligations around data access, standards, regulation, privacy and security have added to the view of digital ID as highly complex and an ‘unfinished’ article. It is creating uncertainty and a ‘wait and see’ attitude rather than a view that the digital ID ecosystem is fit for purpose and ready to use.

Led by Geraint Rogers, Customer Success: Market SME, Identity and Risk for Daon, the research is focused on the UK market and is the first time the question has been explored in such detail among relying party organisation across multiple sectors.

Commenting on the results, Geraint said: “The good news is that there is an understanding of the potential value of digital ID among many organisations and they are following progress closely. However, we need to work to simplify our story; to embrace and educate the disengaged and to build confidence. Our research shows clearly that storytelling, cross sector cooperation and regulatory approval is critical.

“We must highlight the clear value of digital identity over incumbent solutions. We must also focus on user and business outcomes and less on the technology itself.”

The research focused on eight uses cases where digital ID will play a crucial role – recruitment, healthcare provisioning, retail credit, retail payments, wealth, home rental, gambling services and loyalty use cases.

Nick Mothershaw, Chief Identity Strategist at OIX, said: “It is important that barriers to digital ID adoption are removed, as organisations will see vast benefits if digital ID is applied within these use cases.

“Part of the issue is the uncertainty they feel around digital ID solution providers. The research shows that they want providers they can trust and evidence that the solutions work. They’re looking for proven implementations, certification, and sector specific solutions.

“A key part of OIX’s mission is to provide education to relying parties to enable them to understand, accept and implement digital ID. This research helps us refine our focus on how we, and our members, achieve this goal.”

The qualitative research was carried out during the period May to October in 2023, using the opinions of 14 respondents from 8 sectors and use cases.

The full research paper – Relying Party Views on Adoption Readiness – can be found here:

A summary of the research can be found here: