Digital Maturity vs. Expectations

The Expectation Paradox

“With more mature digital identity schemes, consumers are demanding a better onboarding experience. We call this the Expectation Paradox”

A pattern we have identified in previous reports is back again. If a country has a well-used and popular digital identity scheme, it tends to increase onboarding expectations from consumers. The countries where digital identity is newer, have lower expectations when it comes to onboarding.

The expectation paradox is clear. In mature markets, where customers have the highest expectations, applications are seen as complicated. Whereas where markets are arguably less mature, expectations are lower and applications are seen as simpler. As markets mature, applications don’t become more complex, people just expect things to be simpler. Abandonment in the Nordics is the highest, despite wide-spread use of eIDs.

Providers need to understand how expectations will shift in these markets. Increasing fintech and digital ID maturity can quickly lead to dissatisfaction if expectations aren’t met.

Abandonment rate across 14 markets

Expectation paradox - The link between ease and time

It is not as obvious as it first appears—short and simple are not the same but consumers may see long (if simple) application processes as complex. Lots of simple questions could be as frustrating as a short application with difficult questions. There is a clear link between ease and time.


of consumers have abandoned an application in the last year.


of those who said they found their last application easy, took less than 10 minutes to complete it.

Does the onboarding process stop people from switching providers?

Ironically, the onboarding process can impact the likelihood of consumers shifting to another financial provider. Our result shows, that 42% of respondents have considered switching their current account but had been put off because of the effort and paperwork involved in proving their identity to a new provider. This is less true in Ukraine, Lithuania and Estonia, with less than 1/3 saying they had been put off. In Ukraine and Lithuania, this is likely because providers are meeting expectations, and there is less desire to switch. This will change as the market matures. In Estonia, switching is simple, so consumers are not put off.

Providers cannot be complacent in markets where expectations are low. The expectation paradox means this will change i.e. as markets mature in usage of digital identity schemes, it will increase the onboarding expectations from its consumers. A poor onboarding can also have other longer-term consequences for financial service providers:


of consumers say they would ignore a poor application process


would be less inclined to use the company’s service in the future due to poor onboarding

Schedule a chat with an identity expert to learn how we can solve your onboarding challenges

Digital Identity Beyond Borders

Why local knowledge is vital