Companies spend a combined $19 billion annually acquiring and analyzing consumer data. This data allows companies to make more informed decisions, increasing customer engagement, unlocking additional revenues.
However, the long-held belief was that this information was proprietary and therefore should be a closely guarded secret. Companies have treated their collected data as a trade secret, afraid that if competitors discovered insights about their products, strategies, and operations, that maybe they could easily copy them–an argument that is increasingly being proven wrong in many industries.
According to retail marketing platform, Perch, the more “granular and intimate” the data, the more specific it is to a particular retailer environment and therefore it is even less useful in replication for competitors.
But just how can sharing data across businesses and companies within the same vertical actually drive more engagement and revenue? In 2014, Apple launched its Healthkit API which allows app developers the ability to share customer health data with other applications through Apple. Healthkit is part of Apple’s broader ‘Health’ product, which serves as a single source of truth for health-related information such as body measurements, nutrition, heart rate, running distance, reproductive health, sleep time and other health related information. To date, thousands of apps integrate with Healthkit, allowing synergies between apps that would otherwise only have access to their own user collected data. A brisk morning jog tracked on one app, can show up as daily health stats in a cycling app, providing a more complete picture to the end user. Google launched a similar app called Google Fit in the same year, with support and integration for nearly all of the most popular fitness apps from Nike to Strava and displays over 50 million downloads on the Google Play store page. Clearly, seamless data sharing and app integration has been a huge win in the health sector.
Simplified Access and Synergy
Data sharing has implications outside of health apps. Take for instance the popularity of super apps in Asia. WeChat is a prime example allowing users the ability to perform a wide variety of lifestyle tasks in a single ecosystem such as ordering a taxi, applying for a bank loan, paying for goods or items, and even transacting with government service providers, all without leaving the app ecosystem. This synergy allows simplified access and convenience to its users and translates to incredible user engagement –WeChat accounts for around 90% of all messaging app users in China. Compare that with Facebook Messenger, the largest messaging app in the U.S. which accounts for less than 30% of the total U.S. market for chat. Grab, another popular super app, services 144 million users in 8 Southeast Asian countries, enabling users access to ride-hailing, grocery, package and restaurant delivery, rewards and digital payments all in one single platform. Clearly app users are signaling their appreciation for the convenience and power of the synergies generated from information sharing
The Case for Verifiable Credentials
In a nearly identical manner, Verifiable Credential Issuers stand to make significant strides in user adoption by offering newfound convenience in a traditionally painfully inconvenient industry. Companies that support a Verifiable Credential Issuance standard can provide audited and truthful information to any third party on behalf of and with specific permission from their customers. For example, a bank could provide proof-of-funds in the form of a digitally verified credential document, that can then be used as a source of truth to instantly initiate a mortgage application, or a real estate purchase offer.
The use of Verified Credentials is far-reaching. Credentials issuers can market their services to customers, who might select them over a competitor due to the added convenience of being able to access other affiliate applications and marketplaces. For example, a financial services provider that offers Verifiable Credentials can allow its customer rapid and simplified access to investment services, credit cards, auto loans, or peer-to-peer payment platforms, negating the need for a redundant, costly and time-consuming verification process with each separate service provider. In the same manner, companies and platforms that accept Verifiable Credentials in their onboarding process might attract users who are already in a shared Verifiable Credential ecosystem, driving additional synergies and growth. Meanwhile, companies that do not support any shared information initiative do not stand to benefit from these synergies and would be relegated to a quickly aging and time-consuming manual credential verification process.
Bloom believes in modernizing access to credit by leveraging an ecosystem of secure identity and financial data sharing. We seek to accomplish this through the use of a Verifiable Credential Issuance standard based on blockchain technology. Our platform provides a single source of truth recorded on an immutable and distributed ledger ultimately decentralizing the way that financial information is shared between parties. Through this, Bloom offers decentralized and centralized applications alike, the ability to integrate within a shared, synergistic ecosystem that provides efficiency and convenience for a customer, while increasing engagement and revenue opportunities for businesses. All data sharing events are specifically permissioned by each consumer, giving them added control and comfort of their private information
For more information on our technology and mission, please visit bloom.co/about