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Changing the Face of Open Identity in Ecommerce (2012)
- Jonathan LeBlanc, Emmy Award Winning Engineer & O'Reilly Author, PayPal
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The case for online identity has been present for as long as there has been a need to customize a web experience for an individual person. From OpenID to Mozilla’s new BrowserID, there are open solutions for solving the issue of having different logins for all of the sites and services we use.
The problem with open identity systems in the Ecommerce world is not that they don’t allow us to use a single login everywhere, but in the fact that the identifying characteristics of a user using current implementations of these systems is so shallow, providing basically a “yes, this person has an account” answer to “who is this user?”.
While extensive identity information may not be an issue when dealing with social media accounts that don’t tie in payment systems, when it comes to the processing of goods and user bank accounts, the more details about a person that you can have the easier, and safer, your transactions will be.
This is where new X.commerce identity is trying to change the world of open identity. By leveraging off of the massive user Ecommerce information of PayPal and eBay, as well as all user data and security extensions that OpenID has to offer, open Ecommerce identity is now a valuable source of real user data.
What’s unique about having a PayPal backed identity solution is that our users tie in real banking account information to their profiles and large portions of their real identity. Using buying and selling history, user ratings, profile identifiers and a vast array of different user data, X.commerce identity is able to define “trust levels” for a user who signs in to your site.
Taking this a step further, having payment and identity tied together means that you can skip steps in the checkout process, decreasing user drop-off by being able to skip the login stage, prefilling shipping and receiving information, user details, and much more.
At the end of the day, we are trying to provide an answer to the question, “How can we provide a real identity solution for merchants and buyers to make purchasing easier and safer?”