What can DDL learn from mobile payment adoption?

Last updated: 12 January 2018

Today’s attitudes toward mobile technology are changing rapidly. People are using their smartphones more frequently and in increasingly dynamic ways as they navigate their lives.

As highlighted in a recent publication by Business Wire, the evolving breakthroughs in digital driver’s license technology plus consumer demand for cash-free payment options are emblematic of larger shifts in user expectations around digital.

To remain viable, businesses and developers are seeking convenience, flexibility, choice, and scope in the new products and platforms they offer.

A culture of convenience

Convenience is a key component in new and emerging technologies. The ability to perform tasks and manage personal information by easily clicking or swiping a device held in one’s palm is the kind of ease of access that stands out in a rapidly changing digital landscape.

This shift means that classic currency – physical cash and coin – is steadily going digital.

Nowadays, online shopping, money transfer platforms, digital wallet services, contactless payment systems, and cryptocurrencies are changing the culture of hard cash.

On any given day a person can make a purchase from an online store, transfer funds to a friend or family member, order a car or delivery service, donate to a charitable organization, and make a payment at a point of sale terminal all by using their handheld device instead of doling out traditional currency.

Digital Driver’s License technology offers the same kind of solution when it comes to personal identification. The DDL credential is stored securely on your mobile device, and you can access it at any time. In the same way that you can login to an app to transfer money, for example, you can unlock and access your DDL right on your phone. Likewise, the benefits of consolidating what you have to carry and limiting the moving pieces required to move through your day also apply.

When you consider how frequently you need to present ID for verification, and the number of different locations – banks, hospitals, liquor stores, and airports, to name a few – that require you to pull out your physical driver’s license, the idea of condensing all that activity into a few screen taps on your already-accessible mobile device is especially appealing.

And having your credential – a secure DDL on your mobile device – be a possible part of a digital wallet that can include your banking information, would make accessing the places you need to go and paying while you’re there especially convenient.

Flexibility and alternate choice

Though the evolution of a digital currency landscape is undeniable, it’s clear that just as traditional forms of cash payments aren’t going away overnight, physical credentials for identification won’t either.

One of the initial benefits of DDL technology is that it’s a convenient supplement to an existing plastic driver’s license or photo ID. Users who would prefer to engage with their DDL as a backup credential or as an alternate method of transporting their driver’s license could easily use both forms of identification in tandem.

Just as the average consumer in the United States still carries cash – often as a matter of personal preference, not necessity – so will traditional licenses and IDs remain an available option for personal identification in the foreseeable future.

But users are increasingly accustomed to flexibility in daily life with digital. As in the case of the new mobile payments environment that is taking shape, having the choice to use your phone to prove your identity will continue to shift from being a theoretical concept to a genuine consumer expectation.

What might have started as a niche use by early adopters – purchasing items on a mobile device while browsing in a physical store, for example, often referred to as dual-browsing, or even multi-browsing – is becoming a mainstream part of the consumer experience.

In today’s world people are motivated by and toward mobile, and in the identity sector the idea of diversifying across both traditional and emerging technologies is becoming the new normal.

Building an inclusive ecosystem

The innovative and fast-moving DDL ecosystem that is beginning to take shape requires a forward–thinking mindset and a desire to remain on top for the segment of users who create, issue, and work with driver’s license technology every day.

It’s easy to see how a varied approach toward accommodating the changing ways customers pay for goods and services will benefit business owners and merchants who are faced with meeting new spending trends or becoming outworn.

To paraphrase Cuba Gooding Jr.’s famous line as the gregarious wide receiver Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire, businesses are now required to adopt a multi-platform commercial approach if they want customers to show them the money.

The environment in which DDL technology will thrive includes a wide range of players from state DMVs, the TSA, and law enforcement, who deal with enrolling and validating these credentials every day, to the vast number of agencies, medical practices, and merchant establishments who are continually responsible for verifying driver’s license data in an accurate and timely way.

State legislatures who want to provide reliable and cutting-edge services for their constituents and remain on the forefront of emerging trends will also be likely proponents of a mainstream mobile driver’s license solution.

The challenge when it comes to DDL is bringing all of these potential adopters together around the emerging technology and forming an inclusive ecosystem that allows innovation to flourish.

In the case of consumers and their cash, businesses embrace new digital trends in an effort to cater to customer habits and preferences. Those trends also occur in the way people think about using and storing their digital credentials.

As more and more critical documents – medical forms, insurance papers, and hunting and fishing licenses, to name a few – are created, updated, and stored digitally, users will become more comfortable with these new formats, and their expectations will evolve.

And just as businesses seek a competitive advantage by leveraging emerging multi-platform payment options, the journey with widespread implementation of DDL starts with issuing organizations learning how, why, and where people use their licenses, and employing a digital driver’s licenses solution to licensees who seek valid digital credentials.

Have you considered what it would mean to verify your identity using a digital driver’s license?

So, does DDL have you at hello? Or might it take a little longer to fall in love with the concept?

We’d love to hear from you! Please share with us how willing you would be to use a digital driver’s license on your mobile device given today’s trends toward cash-free spending.