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Don’t Treat Your Customer Like a Criminal

Leverage security to build trust — not barriers

This research report from Gartner examines the crossroads between seamless customer experiences and the friction required for customer authentication. A necessary piece to maintaining security, preventing fraud, as well as building customer trust, having the right authentication foundation in place is pivotal and possible with today’s new technologies and strategies.


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Key Insights from This Trends Report


“While the volume of compromised credentials decreased from 2016 to 2020, the number of incidents resulting in compromised credentials doubled.”

60% - 70%

“60% - 70% of users use the same username and password to access more than one online account.”


“It should be possible, outside of acute fraud attacks, to use technology to safely enable a low-friction authentication or purchase experience for approximately 98% of human users.”

In the fast-moving world of digital business, seamless customer experiences are a necessity. However, in the ecommerce space the need to strike a balance between streamlined customer experiences and the appropriate security measures is equally as essential. Merchants can’t have lax policies and operations in place that allow fraud to run rampant. They also can’t insert so much friction into the buying journey that it deters new and return customers from purchasing and instead pushes them to competitors.

To determine this sweet spot between security and seamless experiences, merchants must take a closer look at their customer base: What are their needs and behaviors; how do they define the best shopping experience; and what “friction” do they determine to be their breaking point before turning away for good? All these factors and more are critical to understanding and determining the best approach to customer authentication for your business.

Get the report for key insights into:

  • Understanding your customers’ behaviors
  • Implementing an adaptive approach to authentication
  • Eliminating unnecessary friction for legitimate customers

The choice is no longer between high security and a seamless experience. A thoughtfully architected solution that utilizes the risk classifications for each possible action can offer an authentication experience where the required level of friction matches the risk of the action being attempted minus the current level of trust.”

— Don’t Treat Your Customer Like a Criminal,
Tricia Phillips, Jonathan Care, Akif Khan, 1 July 2021.

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