Hats Off to Customer Personas—Optimizing Digital First Strategies
One of the keys to optimizing government digital transformation strategies is being able to identify individuals online so they can access services conveniently and securely.
In my blog, Deliver More Economic Benefits by Getting Secure Online Transactions Right, I pointed out that although not all digital services require people to be authenticated via an online account, many do.
Not having an online account limits what a person can do online and, in turn, limits the economic benefits to the organization. Another dimension to the online account to be explored is the notion of persona, which can be harnessed to deliver even more economic benefits.
Let’s take a look at the three dimensions to a person’s identity from a government transformation perspective: their assurance level, the means by which they authenticate themselves and their personas.
This relates to the level of certainty that a person is who they say they are and is determined via a registration process, such as that offered by the UK’s Gov.UK Verify service. There are four commonly used levels of assurance:
- Level 0: None. This applies where the identity is not important.
- Level 1: Limited. This is usually determined by confirming that the person’s email address exists.
- Level 2: Comprehensive. This is usually determined using two or more proofs of identity (e.g., a recent utility bill).
- Level 3: Highest. This is usually determined with additional proofs of identification.
Combined with a person’s assurance level, this determines what services can be accessed online. There are four commonly used levels of authentication, which in layman’s terms, are as follows:
- Level 0: People who do not authenticate themselves can only access services that do not require assurance levels greater than 0.
- Level 1: People log in using their email addresses or something similar. This allows them to access services that require assurance levels of 0 and 1.
- Level 2: This employs a two-factor mechanism, such as an email address or account number, followed by a site-generated code, which could be sent to the user’s private mobile number, or read off a card or app owned by the individual.
- Level 3: This employs biometrics, such as facial and fingerprint scans employed by border controls.
Of course, some variations to these processes exist. For example, my bank used to require level 2 authentication to access any service on my mobile phone. However, my bank now allows level 1 authentication when accessing account balances but requires level 2 authentication if I want to transfer money between accounts. This is a good example of keeping convenience in mind when implementing secure access to services.
Many government organizations have or are planning to create separate online service portals for what they determine to be distinct groups of people—such as citizens, visitors, business owners, employees, contractors and elected officials. This is an expensive route for government organizations.
More importantly, it is a confusing one for the people accessing these online services as most citizens don’t fit into only one category. A person “wears many hats”—they can be a citizen, a business owner and an elected official—or a citizen and an employee, and so on.
An individual’s persona is determined based on the information provided at enrollment. For example, a person who successfully completes a level 2 assurance registration process could get access to citizen and visitor services by default. Subsequent completion of an employee enrollment process would then unlock employee-related services when they next log on to the government portal. This means individuals have more reasons to go to the portal, and the organization has more opportunities for channel shift.
Verint is working in partnership with a number of government organizations to innovatively combine assurance, authentication and personas to optimize channel shift and deliver even more economic benefits.
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