London, UK – May 31st, 2016 – Businesses operating in the sharing economy are being held back by consumer fears over trust in the identity of the other party in the transaction, according to a new report from HooYu, the global identity confirmation service.

It reveals that despite rapid growth from millions of users sharing, swapping and renting, over two thirds (68%) of British people have not yet conducted an online peer-to-peer transaction such as buying something from an online marketplace or renting a holiday property. Participation is markedly higher in the United States where nearly seven out of ten people (69%) have already conducted such peer-to-peer online transactions. The difference is particularly stark in the proportion of consumers who have bought or sold an item via an online marketplace such as Gumtree or Craigslist, with 39% having done so in the US compared to just 11% in the UK.

The “Trust & Identity in the Sharing Economy” report examines participation rates and consumer attitudes to trusting strangers in peer-to-peer and sharing economy transactions both in the UK and the US.

A key finding of the study is that in both the UK and the US, consumers are unlikely to conduct peer-to-peer online transactions without first obtaining assurance about the other person’s identity.   Six out of 10 respondents (61%) will not or are uncertain to trust without checking identity compared to 39% that are either happy to trust or would do so with reservations before they had assurance about the other person’s identity.

Eight in 10 (79%) respondents stated they would be much more likely to trust a stranger online if they were sent an in-depth ID confirmation report about the person they were dealing with.

The full research is available in HooYu’s Trust & Identity in the Sharing Economy report and reveals participation rates and a sliding scale of concern over participant identity across all the various types of sharing economy activity including holiday rentals, auction sites, car sharing, ride sharing and renting and sharing assets.

HooYu Marketing Director, David Pope, said “Many leading peer-to-peer sites take a proactive approach to checking the identity of their sharers and participants whilst others adopt a more ‘caveat emptor’ or ‘buyer beware’ approach. Unsurprisingly, it’s those that offer a well-lit marketplace where participants can trust and transact in confidence that will grow quickest and succeed.  HooYu’s ID confirmation technology enables sharing platforms to attract new customers by giving them the confidence to transact and share with another person on the other side of the world.”

Benita Matofska, global sharing economy expert and CEO of The People Who Share said, “How the industry moves forward to manage trust and identity issues using verification technologies like HooYu will determine how the growth curve will continue and how quickly the industry will move into the mainstream. On 5-11th June, Global Sharing Week will take place, helping millions of people to discover the rapidly growing Sharing Economy and a service like HooYu that helps build trust and confidence between sharers is a step in the right direction”.

HooYu was established as a global identity verification platform that can help businesses to authenticate customer identity, and help consumers who want to confirm another individual’s identity. Users are asked to take three simple steps: taking a selfie, sharing their online identity such as Facebook or LinkedIn and taking a photo of their driving licence, ID card or passport. HooYu then completes a biometric facial verification, extracts and scores identity information from the user’s online identity and ID documents and also authenticates their ID documents, returning a report to both parties without sharing sensitive information.


About the HooYu Trust & Identity report

The HooYu Trust & Identity Report was compiled from survey data conducted by Atomik Research who interviewed over 2,000 consumers in the UK and the US. In summary, the study identifies a low overall level of participation and shows concerns around knowing the identity of the other party in the transaction. A report sharing the findings of the research can be downloaded at

About HooYu

HooYu is a global identity confirmation service used not only by businesses that need to check their customers are who they say they are, but also by consumers who want to check another person’s identity before they proceed with an important or sensitive transaction.

HooYu’s approach is to use universal tokens of identity including social media, digital footprints, identity documents and facial biometrics to confirm identity.

HooYu cross-references and analyses data from a person’s digital footprint to confirm their real-world identity. HooYu also extracts and verifies data from ID documents at the same time as authenticating the ID document and conducting a biometric facial check comparing a selfie of the customer with the facial image on their ID document.

For further information contact [email protected]

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