Speaking to operators across Latin America over recent years, it has become apparent that the region is developing in a very interesting, unique manner. Although LatAm is now the world’s second-fastest growing market for mobile subscribers and users of digital services, operators are seeing a slowdown in ARPU and revenue, with an increase of less than 1.5% from 2017 to 2018.
Alongside this trend, exposure to fraud increases exponentially which leads to huge demand in the region for a more secure solution for verification of Mobile Identity.
It is widely accepted now that the traditional username-password is simply no longer secure enough for the mobile era. The onset of sophisticated attacks like SIM swapping, call forwarding and porting fraud have made online accounts more vulnerable than ever to account takeover. Multi-layered fraud prevention methods are now essential.
Security measures like tokens or special security devices are sometimes used, especially by banks, but can easily be misplaced, stolen, or simply not used due to inconvenience. Biometric technology – fingerprint, finger vein and facial recognition – are not yet universal but, like SMS one-time passcodes, serve to complement Mobile Identity nicely.
Mobile identity – the MNO opportunity to advance global progress towards digital identities
Digital operators need a more prevalent, easy-to-use and reliable method to verify and authenticate users and transactions so that they can on the one hand reduce fraud and on the other hand improve the customer experience.
Mobile numbers have evolved into one of the most ubiquitous, reliable and durable identifiers of the digital era. They are unique, in most cases permanent thanks to number portability, highly secure and extremely difficult to fake or hijack. The mobile identity insights behind mobile numbers necessary to preventing fraud, supporting compliance, and enhancing customer engagement.
Using an individuals’ mobile number to verify their identity is an optimal solution for digital and m-commerce platforms, to strengthen security and protect their users and operations from fraud, while safeguarding the user experience.
What does Mobile Identity bring to the table for MNOs in Latin America?
Mobile identity is a huge source of additional revenue for operators – Analysys Mason estimates that the global Mobile ID market size will hit US$9.4 billion by 2025.
Mobile operators in Latin America need to act now to productize this service and be at the forefront of this service along with North America, Europe and Asia. Implementation of this initiative is well worth the effort: mobile Identity will provide the growth engine necessary for MNOs to evolve and develop side by side with the digital ecosystem, rather than being relegated to the status of a pipe provider.
Teaming up with a trusted partner such as BICS can make all the difference to time-to-market and time-to-revenue. Our Mobile Identity solution is already helping the world’s major digital platforms to keep their subscribers’ safe from fraud and keep transactions streamlined by making verification seamless and real-time.
BICS’ acquisition in 2017 of TeleSign, a provider of phone verification services to the biggest brands in the world, provided us with access to a potential customer base of more than 500 leading global digital enterprises. Evolving from phone verification, the BICS-Telesign offer now encompasses voice, SMS, data insight products and now we continue to pioneer this industry with the development of Mobile Identity-based authentication.
A blueprint of the value chain: how Mobile Identity works
In practice, authentication through mobile identity is conducted by comparing the user’s data with records held by the mobile operator. If the two sets of data do not match, digital platforms can decide to flag a transaction for further verification. The entire verification process happens in the background and often within the MNO’s systems in real time, so it is seamless and transparent to the end user.
A partner like BICS serves as an essential bridge in this process, connecting the systems of the MNO with those of the digital enterprise. The MNO needs to enter into only one set of technical and commercial arrangements, and BICS manages all other connections.
Why LatAm operators should support the digital world with mobile identity
There are some compelling reasons for MNOs in this region to take the plunge into mobile identity.
- Social good in a digital world – They can collect, process and utilize identity-related data in ways that empower and protect individuals, without infringing on their freedoms or causing them harm. User information is only used to enhance the user experience and reduce fraud in the digital transactions ecosystem.
- Privacy-enhancing – Subscriber information is only accessed in the right circumstances to protect the user, and stays within the MNO’s control and systems, unless fraudulent activity is detected.
- Consent-based, transparent authentication – Mobile identity is compliant with data protection regulations across the world. Verification takes place securely and is completely automated. All that the platform needs to do, is to secure consent from end-users, which can be done either explicitly or incorporated into Terms and Conditions.
About the author
Mariano Zuniga is a highly experienced telecoms professional, specialising in enabling operators to monetize Identity Services for fraud prevention and user verification. Mariano will discuss monetization strategies within the TECT workshop at M360LatAm Buenos Aires – why not join us to discover how we’re using #MobileID to create opportunities for #MNOs. Apply here to attend workshop.