The decision by Timpson Group to join the Board of Directors of the Open Identity Exchange is remarkable.
Timpson is a company which proudly carries its entrepreneurial DNA. Owned by the same family that founded it more than 150 years ago , Timpson has earned a valuable reputation as a ubiquitous and trusted name in the UK. Historically, we've placed a great deal of value around the trust component of brands, today we tend to personify brands and have pseudo‑relationships with them online.
Today, brand strength is synonymous with trust, trust based on brand experience and associations. We trust brands the more we use them, and the way they treat us. A household name in the United Kingdom, the Timpson brand is recognised and respected for its company values toward its staff and well as for its service levels to its customers. The kindness, courtesy, and effort Timpson’s puts into in person service relationships enables those services to be extended online. People think online and offline are separate things. If the pandemic has taught us anything- they’re not.
In person and online, a successful service providers must be highly responsive to customer demand. Over 150 years, Timpson’s success comes from a keen ability to spot trends and anticipate what service customers will want next. Building its portfolio of services, investing in continuous training for its staff and its responsiveness to market trends has created a unique service network when its needed most. Timpson brings a timely, compelling value proposition to the identity and access management marketplace; a far flung network, operated by a well-known brand, operated by employees with years of experience with digitising passport photos, linked digitally and trusted across demographics.
Timpson’s expansion into digital identity services signals is like mixing kerosene and oxygen, producing propellant for whole new journeys from whole new launchpads. I've had the pleasure of listening to James Timpson, its chief executive officer, speak at an Open Identity Exchange event as far back as December 2015. His ‘Upside Down Management’ approach is distinctive. His investments in the photo identity services were prescient, his “arm-around-the-shoulder” approach can reliably strengthen "know your customer” verification so critical to on-line services.
Timpson was way ahead of its times with its ‘ArkHive’ in Henley-on-Thames test bed. But the learning was undeniable. Take a look at the OIX report ‘Walk-In Assisted Digital’ white paper.
We live in an age of agility, and organisations that want to survive, let alone thrive, need to increase their speed, adaptability, and innovation. It is a challenge many are not well equipped to meet. Timpson has met that challenge for 150 years and continues to this day. On the occasion of this inaugural Identity Management Day, it is a delight to welcome them back to the Open Identity Exchange leadership team.
by Don Thibeau
Vice Chair - The Open Identity Exchange