From car sharing services to short-term home rental services, the sharing economy is exploding. According to Industry Research, the sharing economy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 32.01%, reaching $794 million by 2028. But the rise of the sharing economy has coincided with a rise in AI-generated deepfakes and other types of fraud that put the industry at risk.
What is the Sharing Economy?
The sharing economy (or peer economy) is made up of companies that enable collaborative consumption by connecting providers and consumers to exchange goods and services. Most sharing services operate through online platforms, including Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, Zipcar, eBay, and Amazon. Many sharing companies base their business model on the gig economy, such as ridesharing services and digital platforms for freelancers. Others provide access to money, including crowdfunding and peer lending, which connect entrepreneurs and other borrowers with individual donors or investors to fund their initiatives.
This collaborative economy has led to a huge increase in startups that are building sharing economy platforms aimed at a variety of audiences, not only in American tech and financial centers like San Francisco and New York, but also across China, India, Europe, Africa, Latin America and beyond. Sustainability and lower prices are key drivers that lead people to participate in sharing resources.
The Importance of Trust in the Sharing Economy
The sharing economy only works when there’s trust, which can be challenging to establish online. Fake accounts and account takeovers are a pervasive problem for sharing economy services, especially on social media and marketplaces. And with the availability of generative AI, this problem is rapidly increasing.
That’s why using a biometric, AI-driven identity verification solution combined with advanced risk signals is essential to ensuring trust and safety on your platform. Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, said it best. “Access is built on trust, and trust is built on transparency. When you remove anonymity, it brings out the best in people. We believe anonymity has no place in the future of Airbnb or the sharing economy.”
Consumers agree. Jumio’s research shows that 20% of sharing economy consumers have been victims of account hacks or takeovers, and 70% would be willing to spend more time on identity verification when using online sharing economy services.
Best Practices for Stopping Fraud in the Sharing Economy
Many sharing economy businesses simply check the person’s ID during onboarding. But stolen IDs can be purchased inexpensively on the dark web. To combat identity theft, you should also require a selfie to make sure the person shown on the ID is the same as the person holding it.
Determined fraudsters can work around the selfie requirement, though. They use camera and video injection to fool the identity verification process into thinking the person on the ID is actually there. Jumio uses sophisticated liveness detection to spot these types of spoofs. We capture video of the person as they move their face into the frame, and using AI and our proprietary machine learning models that have been trained extensively on big data, we analyze the video frames to help identify fraud. For example, our algorithms can detect computer-generated images by examining the reflection of light off the person’s skin.
But what if the person has created a synthetic identity based on real data? That’s where adding risk signals to the process can be so effective. For example, you can check how long the email account has been open, whether the device they’re using has been used in previous fraud attempts, whether their IP address matches the location where they say they are, whether their national ID number was issued to their stated name, and much more.
These risk signals can be woven into the customer journey to give you a holistic view of the user’s identity and behavior. And best of all, most of these risk signals are completely frictionless and run in the background as the user enters their information. Jumio lets you define rules and workflows to control the user journey and introduce friction only at the right point, such as prompting additional checks only if address verification fails.
Keeping Fraud Out of Shared Mobility Ecosystems
Harnessing the Right Solutions and Expertise
This multi-layered approach is essential to establishing and maintaining trust in an industry like the sharing economy where trust is everything. But not all sharing economy businesses are the same, and the process must not create unnecessary friction for your legitimate customers. It’s essential to work with an experienced identity verification provider like Jumio who can help you design the right workflows for your unique business needs and help you get up and running fast.
For example, Danish mobility company :Dribe provides a fully digital car subscription service. They wanted to give good customers the ability to onboard 24/7 so they could easily book a car whenever and wherever they were, but :Dribe also needed security checks in place to protect its fleet from theft and fraud. According to Erik Asbjørn Arvid, :Dribe CTO, “We found that Jumio not only delivered the best functional solution, but also a solution that could be adapted into a natural step of our onboarding flow.” They integrated Jumio into their onboarding journey in weeks, not months, and after adding Jumio Identity Verification to the process, their fraud attempts dropped by 75%.
Establishing trust is critical, but it doesn’t stop at onboarding. You must maintain trust throughout the customer lifecycle by ensuring the person returning to your platform is the same person who onboarded. Too many sharing economy companies rely on passwords and two-factor authentication to protect their customers’ accounts.
While these security methods can be sufficient for low-risk activities, the best practice is to require biometric authentication whenever a user wants to change their password or linked bank account, or physically take possession of a high-value asset such as a shared car or home. By simply prompting the user for a selfie, which is compared to the biometric template of the original selfie they took when onboarding, you can ensure that the person who is about to borrow an apartment for the weekend or drive away with a vehicle is the same person you onboarded.
The key to establishing and maintaining trust without frustrating (and potentially losing) good customers is to use dynamic, intuitive and highly accurate identity verification and authentication solutions that integrate seamlessly into your existing processes. Be sure to use a proven solution that uses sophisticated tools to stop fraud while minimizing friction and maximizing your ability to convert new business.
Jumio has helped sharing companies across the globe protect their business and their reputation from fraudsters. To start a conversation about your unique requirements and how Jumio can help you, contact us today.