The sharing economy - what is it and why does it exist?

Posted by National Crime Check on 2022-04-05

You’ve likely heard the term “sharing economy” being bandied about in recent years, but what is it exactly and why does it exist?

According to Investopedia, “the sharing economy is an economic model defined as a peer-to-peer based activity of acquiring, providing or sharing access to goods and services that is often facilitated by a community-based online platform”. It is often employed to make maximum “use of idle assets and services or to facilitate collaboration”, facilitated by some online platform that helps to connect the buyer and seller.

Some examples of the sharing economy are:

  • transport sharing (cars, bikes, scooters, etc)
  • house swapping or office co-working spaces
  • peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, and
  • fashion and furniture sharing.

 

Technology has enabled the rapid advancement and uptake of the sharing economy with many platforms facilitating quick and easy sharing and becoming household names in the process, e.g. Airbnb, Uber, Lime, Lyft and Couchsurfing.

So why is the sharing economy becoming so popular? Easy - it’s a win-win for everyone involved. The person receiving the product or service gets to rent or buy at a cheaper price than brand new products, and the person providing the product gets to make money from an asset that they rarely use. The world also wins because goods are being reused instead of new products being bought and disposed of, particularly in the situation of fashion or furniture sharing.

The sharing economy is rapidly growing and evolving, with revenue from the shared economy on track to reach $335 billion by 2025. However it also faces significant challenges in the form of regulatory uncertainty and concerns about abuses as there is always an element of risk and a level of trust required in the sharing economy. This is particularly pertinent when sharing high-value items like house sharing or car sharing, where the identity and trustworthiness of the person renting are important.

In these instances, the use of quick identity verification can come in handy. Identity verification helps to ensure that the people renting the goods (the “renters”) are who they say they are and the people providing the goods (the “suppliers”) can check their credit rating or any other relevant databases against this identity to be assured of the transaction before releasing their high-value item.

 

As with all things in the modern age, this verification needs to be quick and easy to ensure that renters aren’t put off by tedious administrative processes. InstaID+ is a tool that perfectly fits these needs.

 

InstaID+ facilitates the renter’s identity check by sending a link through which they can supply their image and identification and be verified using market-leading facial biometric technology. This process can be done via mobile and desktop and allows the renter to complete the check at their convenience.

 

InstaID+ has the added benefits of integrating identity verification with an Australian Federal Government DVS check, full forensic document examination, and personalised support options for users. This ensures that fraud is minimised and allows you to protect your assets from being misused or stolen whilst also providing a smooth and secure process for renters.

If you operate in the sharing economy and would like to learn more about InstaID+ and National Crime Check’s identity verification services, get in touch here.