Consumer Defection Growing Issue for Brands as Authentication Frustration Grows and Digital Experiences Multiply Across All Channels of Engagement and Customer Help

Companies should act decisively to simplify and unify customer onboarding and authentication or risk losing customers and revenue in today’s digital economy, according to a new report by the CMO Council and Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network.

The new report, Humanize and Optimize the Way You Recognize Every Customer + Contact, is based on conversations with leading executives and experts across info security, digital marketing, and customer support, as well as the findings of a survey of 2,000 consumers. The research was developed in partnership with Daon, a global leader in identity assurance technology.

Download the report here.

The study finds that many consumers are abandoning digital transactions due to frustration with outdated password authentication and repetitive identity verification. Customer-minded brands are responding with new approaches, particularly the use of biometric verification to improve both security and ease of use. The study also finds that consumers overwhelmingly prefer biometrics to other forms of authentication.

A webinar panel discussion will be held on Nov. 3 exploring study findings and how companies can modernize the customer authentication experience.  Register for the webinar here.

Among key findings in the report:

  • Improving digital identity assurance has become a top priority for companies since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Siloed systems and inconsistencies in the authentication process across different channels of customer engagement within the same company are a major issue impacting digital experience and security.

  • Customer support centers are frequently behind the curve in modernizing and simplifying authentication—creating both customer friction and security vulnerabilities.

  • Time-to-authentication and ease of use are important factors in improving customer satisfaction scores.

  • Consumers are growing increasingly concerned about identity theft and privacy and want to do business in trusted channels.

  • CMOs and Chief Digital Officers say they need to be very involved in making sure that friction is removed from identity assurance.

  • Executives overwhelmingly believe biometrics is the future of identity assurance for both digital experience and security reasons, and most say they are in the midst of implementing biometric technology.

“Consumers and business leaders agree that identity assurance plays a major role in delivering winning digital customer experiences,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council and BPI Network. “They also agree that biometrics can provide both simplified and better secured authentication. CMOs, CDOs and customer experience leaders need to work closely with security and identity executives to accelerate the adoption of biometrics and advanced back-end systems to deliver greater trust, consistency and ease of use in identity-based processes.” 

“This study underscores the critical need for businesses and other enterprises to deploy biometrics to ease the strain and pain of authentication and improve security and privacy for customers,” said George Skaff, senior vice president of marketing at Daon. “However, the implementation of biometrics as a point solution in isolated digital channels of interaction is not enough. Inconsistent identity assurance processes are creating friction for customers and security gaps within companies. Security and digital experience leaders should look to unify authentication and identity proofing on a single enterprise platform across their mobile, web and customer support channels. Such identity continuity will be critical to the future of digital business.”

A survey of 2,000 consumers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland highlights the critical business need to simplify and improve authentication in the digital economy. First published in a CMO Council and BPI Network report issued in October, “Authentication Frustration: How Companies Lose Customers in the Digital Age,” the survey finds that more than 6 in 10 consumers have abandoned transactions due to authentication frustration. Some 81 percent say they prefer to do business with companies that allow them to verify their identity “simply, quickly and safely.”

Some 7 in 10 consumers also said they have trouble remembering and using passwords. Just 10 percent prefer passwords or other forms of authentication over biometrics.

About the BPI Network

The Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network is a peer-driven thought leadership and professional networking organization reaching some 50,000 heads of IT transformation, change management, business re-engineering, process improvement, and strategic planning. The BPI Network brings together global executives who are champions of change through ongoing research, authoritative content and peer-to-peer conversations. For more information, visit

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council’s 16,000+ members control more than $1 trillion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include over 65,000 global marketing and sales executives in over 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The Council’s strategic interest groups include the Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Center, Brand Inspiration Center, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, GeoBranding Center, and the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE). To learn more, visit

About Daon

Daon,, is an innovator in developing and deploying biometric authentication and identity assurance solutions worldwide. Daon has pioneered methods for securely and conveniently combining biometric and identity capabilities across multiple channels with large-scale deployments that span payments verification, digital banking, wealth, insurance, telcos, and securing borders and seamless travel. Daon’s IdentityX® platform provides an inclusive, trusted digital security experience, enabling the creation, authentication and recovery of a user’s identity and allowing businesses to conduct transactions with any consumer through any medium with total confidence. Get to know us on Twitter and LinkedIn. To learn more, visit


Media Contact:

Kevin Sugarman