The industry has plenty of room to increase the perception of safety for online sharing services.
While two-thirds of U.S. adults and one-half of U.K. adults feel “very safe” or “somewhat safe” using online sharing services, that leaves a large percentage of people who feel otherwise. Companies operating in the sharing economy should view these findings as a call to action to increase participation among a broader range of consumers.
Consumers view identity verification as an important component of trust and safety.
While identity verification is viewed as important, consumers say they are less willing to subject themselves to the process.
Half of U.S. consumers (50.1 percent) and just under half of U.K. consumers (49.2 percent) say they would be willing to subject themselves to an online identity check for the online sharing services they use.
This is in contrast with related findings in which over two-thirds of consumers say it’s important for online sharing services to verify new users.
In our view, this finding represents an opportunity for sharing companies to frame the identity verification process as a positive way of validating good users and to ensure their processes are user friendly, fast and effective.
Speed is a critical factor in consumers’ willingness to participate in online identity checks.
One-third of U.K. consumers and one-quarter of U.S. consumers say they’d be willing to spend less than 30 seconds to complete an online identity verification check. Slightly less, 15.7 percent in the U.K. and 19.0 percent in the U.S. would be willing to spend 30-60 seconds.
These findings underscore the importance of a fast, user-friendly process. Consumers want users to be verified but they don’t want to take the time to do so themselves. However, if companies can make the process fast and easy, consumers are more willing to oblige.