Customers need to access more data across multiple devices
There is no standardisation of log-in
Trusted agents will only 'push' what you want them to
It is important that you trust your trusted agent
While we welcome the convenience of being able to access increasing amounts of personal digital information over a growing number of devices, wouldn’t it be convenient if these interfaces could access relevant log-in information so we would not have to do further refining for each access?
With more and more information to access and store, consumers have two priorities: first to access the data they need – their 'own' data - really easily and second, to defend against everything else. So in go the email filters, the boxes are checked to decline ‘offers from carefully selected third parties’, and so it goes on…
At present, each piece of data is protected, usually by some sort of log-in. There is no standardisation of log-in and only some devices, such as a PC with cookies, remember them. So, for example, because of the need to log-in, a person's bank will not accept a standing instruction to put their bank statement on their digital TV overnight, even if that is the person's preferred access point in the morning. Instead, they will be required to log-in to the online service.
In the future, when consumers are faced with receiving several types of highly personal information such as health records, across a variety of platforms, something will have to give. Individuals will start abandoning data – by never accessing or by discontinuing one source to make room for another, lack of user-friendliness will become data’s downfall.
A touch of celebrity
Conditional trusted agents (CTAs) act in a similar way to a celebrity's agent but virtually. A trusted third party holds all the details required for others to interface with you. You can then tell your trusted agent the parameters of what you would like pushed to you - e.g. ‘allow me to receive information on sailing’ but ‘block any info on discounted hotels’.
You can also provide your trusted agent with the sites you most want to link to. For instance, the keyword 'bank' typed into any device will identify the bank and trigger the necessary log-ins and key strokes to get you where you are most likely to want to go. The trusted agent learns you are a creature of habit and does the repetitive stuff.
Appointing a trusted agent (or several) means your digital life is a lot more organised by providing a short cut to the things that matter. It can run your diary (you can decide if other people can book into it), it can filter things out or hunt things down, it can give its permission (in a permission marketing environment) to another data source and then scrutinise the results and determine, upon your rules, whether to bother you with it. It will also accept your priorities and use artificial intelligence and your activity history to anticipate your next step, requirements or desires.
Whether interfacing with a bank, credit card, loyalty scheme, whatever, it will tell you what you want to know, when you want it, how you want it and when actions such as payments are completed.
Trust is the key word
The best way for a consumer to choose a CTA would be based on the organisations they are likely to interact with already and trust on an implicit basis. What kind of organisation this turns out to be will depend on the individual. While some trust their bank, others may see a large retailer with whom they already hold loyalty cards and interact with on a weekly basis as the most trusted agent.
The CTA, in turn, will need to comply with strict regulatory measures to ensure the highest levels of data security and data protection measures.
The reason trust is so important is that the CTA’s reason for being is likely to be profit. This could be defensive - giving it protection for their existing business, aggressive - allowing it (within the trusted rules established by the individual) to market to its client base, or commercial - where it might be available for a fee, which could then be rebated in part against client activity with the CTA and its partners.
People using their CTA will require their digital data providers to fit the CTA model and be CTA-enabled so that the agent can do its job. Therefore, for instance, unless an airline carrier is ‘CTA-enabled’, it would be likely that the consumer, through the agent, will want to deal with another airline.
But whether funded through a subscription or a marketing model, there is a huge market for consumer providers to become CTA-enabled and make life a lot easier for their customers. Every access is once only. This means no more passwords, only relevant data is fed, output is in the form desired and on the right device at the right time – a no-brainer for the consumer.