Stockholm-based Identitrade, founded by Phillip Hallenborg in 2014, is on a mission: to unlock the web for trusted consumers.
B2C companies need to create best in class user journeys for online domains and devices. Increasingly, they need to do so in the context of commercial partnerships. Today consumers cannot flow freely between domains – they are subject to signups, logins and coupon codes that create inconvenience and reduce conversion. At the core of the problem are the difficulties consumer companies face in sharing personal data in an environment characterized by increasing privacy and data protection legislation.
We sat down with Identitrade Founder and CEO Phillip Hallenborg to talk about identity verification, data sharing, and a their platform for “partner commerce”.
What exactly does Identitrade do?
We enable B2C companies to customize partner networks in which they can share identity data, leads and payment capabilities. These networks support best-in-class consumer journeys with one touch access to offers, one touch sign-in and one touch payment. Identitrade secures consumer consent and provides a patented software-as-a-service platform that allows for partner network creation, data attribute, leads and payment exchange and settlement. We call it “Partner commerce”.
What would be a use case for this?
For example, as a Consumer you are offered a Viaplay subscription by your mobile network operator (MNO) via an app, my pages or other type of communication. If you click on the offer, you will be subject to a variety of processes ranging from signup and form fill, to coupon code creation and redemption. In most cases you will have to signup at Viaplay even though your personal data is kept by your MNO.
This is happening even though the MNO can e-authenticate you. Signup is painful and the consumer has to go through a painful process that ultimately kills the commercial partnership.
Unless Viaplay and your MNO have invested a great deal of time and effort for a one off integration, they will have no way of sharing the appropriate user data. Typically parties solve this with coupon codes or similar but with Identitrade, the consumer will use a one touch sign-in with his MNO profile at Viaplay. The MNO will transfer the agreed data and the account will be set up instantly.
This is a way of extending the identity or authentication realm of the MNO or any other large consumer organization such as banks or large retailers. The Identitrade platform not only supports partner single sign-on, it also supports both the commercial lead and the payment aspect of the partnership. If the MNO authenticates its consumer, the parties can opt to offer one touch MNO invoice payment in Viaplay checkout. For the consumer, this means convenience and personalization especially on mobile devices.
With mobile commerce and IoT we will continue to see a sharp increase in cross domain use cases. If you have a FitBit, for example, and you want to connect it to other services e.g. Google you have a typical situation where two companies are exchanging personal data with Oath2 user authorization and API authentication.
Enabling companies to deploy these use cases at scale whilst allowing consumers to stay in control of personal data is Identitrade’s number one priority.
Of course, knowing user data is important. What sort of data is valuable?
Identitrade supports a lot of different use cases and a key capability of the platform is that parties can choose to exchange pretty much any data. It is consent based and highly flexible on a device and use case level. The most common data attributes are name, address, phone number and email. In some cases personal or social security number. But we also see increasing interest in use case specific attributes such as “stolen phone” and “preliminary credit score”.
We see adoption ranging from basic authentication and identity needs such as know your customer “KYC” in gambling and finance to the full fledged partner commerce scheme where an MNO can capitalize on a lead, ship authenticated identity data and offer invoice payment in checkout. In these industries the incumbent KYC processes are costly, slow and consumer unfriendly.
Even such a simple data attributes as email, gender and age can make a big difference for merchants. They access data that can be used for re-marketing but also personalization and simple identification on a landing page or in the checkout.
An important differentiator when it comes to data exchanged of Identitrade is that it is e-authenticated. There are many data sources out there for third party data. But in the emerging world of second party data, Identitrade seeks to fuel the exchange of data that is in a state of authentication, meaning the data provider can vouch for the data validity in session. Facebook connect can already provide a valuable source of data for merchants, however the level of assurance is very low; if Facebook authenticates somebody signed in as a Mickey Mouse, it doesn’t do much for commerce.
What does that mean in practice?
It means B2C companies get an effective tool to address mobile commerce, second party data and data protection. There is an ongoing shift in how global B2C companies control their data and create trusted partner networks on the one hand and a real opportunity to design seamless consumer journeys for merchants on the other.
We want businesses to focus on executing great things for the consumers without having to wait for lengthy IT road maps to allow a one off integration of their preferred partner. An open platform with global standards provides foremost absolute control but also much needed aggregation, distribution and standards. It reduces integration and cost. Perhaps most important, it means that the Chairman’s wish for big data monetization can go from a grey zone data processing to a clear path to execution with the Consumer’s best interest in mind.
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