In 2018, global ecommerce sales amounted to $2.8 trillion, with $4.8 trillion expected by 2021. And that figure is only going to get bigger as access to mobile services increases. By 2025, it’s predicted the number of unique mobile subscribers will reach 5.9 billion, or 71% of the world’s population. However, as the digital economy grows, so too does consumer exposure to fraud, which has created huge demand for a more secure solution for the verification of Mobile Identity.
It is widely accepted that a username-password combination is no longer enough for the mobile era, particularly given the onset of phishing attempts and other sophisticated attacks. At a time when consumers are more vulnerable than ever, multi-layered fraud prevention methods are now essential.
Additional security measures like tokens or special security devices are sometimes used, especially by banks, but can easily be misplaced, stolen, or simply not adopted due to inconvenience. Biometric technology – fingerprint, retina and facial recognition – are not yet universal but, like SMS one time passcodes, serve to complement end user verification nicely.
Mobile Identity – why early MNO participation is key
Digital companies need a more prevalent, simple 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 are a necessity to prevent fraud, support compliance, and improve customer engagement.
Using an individuals’ mobile number to verify their identity is an optimal solution for digital and m-commerce platforms. It is a great way to reduce friction, strengthening security and protecting their users and operations from fraud, while safeguarding the user experience.
What does Mobile Identity bring to the table for MNOs around the world?
At a time when the global mobile market is seeing a significant boom in subscriber uptick and use of digital services, but a slowdown in ARPU growth, Mobile Identity represents a huge source of additional revenue for operators – Analysys Mason estimates the global Mobile ID market size will hit US$9.4 billion by 2025.
Mobile operators in North America, Europe, and Asia have already taken several steps to tap into this hugely valuable market, while Latin America and Africa are moving fast to productise this service, too. Implementation of these initiatives 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, that has a unique understanding of the value of Mobile Identity for fraud prevention thanks to its mobile network operator DNA, 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 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 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 secure consent from end users, which can be done either explicitly or incorporated into Terms and Conditions.
Unlocking the revenue-growing power of Mobile Identity