Digital iD™ strengthens trust in the Airtasker community

“The basis for starting Airtasker was trust in the community,” states Tim Fung, founder and CEO of the online marketplace. “We have a fundamental belief that 99.9 per cent of people are good.”

Yet Fung needed more than staunch belief in a person’s inherent goodness to cultivate that trust in Airtasker’s community. On a platform where many jobs require a stranger to access another’s personal information or home, trust was essential to connecting people and helping further collaborations.

Airtasker needed to instil confidence among its members that people on the platform were who they said they were. To do this, it offered them different verification badges to add to their profile like ID badges, licence badges, partner badges, a Police Check badge and a Working With Children badge.

These badges were a core value-add to the business but applying for one involved a tedious 100 points of ID process. Prospective Taskers needed to supply the required documentation that proved their identity and Airtasker’s community manager would assess each application individually.

Members who displayed these badges on their profile not only earned trust from the community but were also better able to make their offers or tasks stand out. Yet despite this advantage, some Taskers chose to skip this verification step because of the lengthy application process.

This was a challenge that Airtasker needed to resolve. Its solution was to offer its members another option of identity verification. That option was Digital iD™, an identity verification solution developed by Australia Post that was already successfully integrated into various enterprises and government agencies.

“The synergies between Airtasker and Australia Post is essentially trust,” says Tung Nguyen, Strategic Partnerships for Digital iD™ at Australia Post. “And trust is something we’ve been dealing with for 200 years. We’re now taking what we do so well in the physical environment into the digital space.”

“What we did was help Airtasker evolve their identification processes into the digital space. Airtasker has built a marketplace with two sides to it, and both sides need trust to be able to interact with each other. That’s easy in a physical world but harder in a digital one.”

Easy integration for a seamless solution

As a technology start-up, Airtasker sought a partner that matched its values and that had seamless technology capabilities. Digital iD™ ticked the boxes for minimal integration cost, time and development effort.

“What we really value when deciding which partners to integrate with is whether they follow industry best practices in a predictable way,” explains Daniel O’Callaghan, a senior engineer at Airtasker. “Digital iD™ follows the expected protocols for connecting systems securely together which meant the integration would be effective and efficient, and we could continue focusing on our core product.”

As part of the integration process, Australia Post’s Digital iD™ team ran workshops for Airtasker’s team on how Digital iD™ functions and what it would deliver.

“Our engineers found it really easy to work together with Post’s team,” says Jennifer Flynn, VP of Product at Airtasker. “Their pace and style of working was very similar to ours so it made the communications and delivery straightforward. And the technology was very clearly set up and documented from the get-go. I’d say it’s been one of our easier integration projects.”

In August 2017, Australia Post’s Digital iD™ was the latest badge to be offered on Airtasker’s platform. Taskers are also able to attach ratings and reviews to the badge in addition to other information like their driver’s licence or passport and other relevant licences.

“We’re creating trust by using identity as the centre of a person’s reputation passport,” Fung says, “The crux of it is being able to verify your identity without having to go through a lengthy process.”

Less friction, more flexibility

According to Nguyen, conversations with partners around identity solutions usually touched on three key criteria – simple and easy integration, cost effectiveness and convenience. He says that prospective partners want an easy way to on-board consumers and remove friction from the engagement process.

As a reusable identity, Digital iD™ provides a similar utility to PayPal in that you don’t have to re-submit your ID documentation when verifying your identity with different merchants. Nguyen adds, “Digital iD™ can be used at a range of different locations which means more convenience for both the user and our partner.”

Most importantly, it has also shown that Taskers who display Digital iD™ badges on their profile have a higher likelihood of being assigned work, a better completion rate and a boost to their reputation in the marketplace. As Flynn points out, this is a critical part of how the Airtasker community works.

A recognised symbol of trust

“Australia Post’s Digital iD™ and Airtasker are quite aligned because we’re both trying to achieve the same thing which is to create trust through identity and use that trust to facilitate commerce which might not be able to happen if that trust wasn’t there,” Fung states.

Since the integration, the Digital iD™ badge has become one of the most successful on the platform and boasts the highest adoption rate within the community. Edward Dostine, Global Community Manager at Airtasker, says that Digital iD™ offers Airtasker an enhanced level of trust in their platform and Taskers.

“People recognise and trust the Australia Post brand immediately, and transfer that trust onto Airtasker. The Digital iD™ badge on our platform has now become the symbol and level of trust people expect to see.”

This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for your business needs.