The sharing economy has upended the way people buy everything from rides and rooms to pet-sitting and professional services—and it’s only just begun. According to a recent US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics report, global revenue from the sharing economy “has the potential to increase to around $335 billion by 2025.” Enabled by powerful digital platforms, people are connecting with each other in more efficient ways to meet all kinds of needs.But the sharing economy has a problem. As it expands to encompass more specialized fields such as law, medicine, and finance as well as B2B endeavors, trust could be a limiting factor for growth. Ratings and reviews may be enough to make people feel secure when renting a room for a night, but it won’t be enough when hiring an accountant or consulting a pediatrician. And while a trusted brand such as Airbnb inspires confidence in the platform, the individual participants will increasingly need a more robust and reliable means of establishing their bona fides.
Collaboration depends on trust. As the sharing economy grows, our ability to trust each other must grow with it. We must be able to establish trust quickly and with confidence.
To do that, we need to change the way we conduct and manage identity verification, including a new way to store and share personal data. It needs to be safer and more secure, but also faster and more convenient. In the sharing economy, user experience matters more than just about anything else. In a digital world where speed and ease rule the day, create too much friction and you lose people.
The traditional approach has been to store vast and ever-growing amounts of personal data, using any means necessary to protect it. This herculean task never ends and is fraught with risk. While leading-edge approaches such as blockchain may hold some promise, their widespread application is far from practical. Where is the simple, secure solution that can improve identity verification now?
The sharing economy allows us to demand more: more innovation, more creativity, more return on investment. Ensuring that every participant in the collaborative space has a simple, third-party verified online identity is vital to the success of the sharing economy.
At Evident, we’ve thought long and hard about the challenge of creating a better system of identity verification—one that can enable the sharing economy to expand fearlessly. That’s why we created a simpler, more secure way for businesses and individuals to share and verify personal information. You can learn more about identity verification, the sharing economy, and new strategies to enable growth in our complete white paper, “The Sharing Economy: Who Can You Trust?”
David Thomas, CEO at Evident, is an accomplished cybersecurity entrepreneur. He has a history of introducing innovative technologies, establishing them in the market, and driving growth – with each early-stage company emerging as the market leader.