Why identity verification matters for mobile operators
In today’s increasingly connected world, mobile network operators (MNOs) are grappling with the need to add more and more innovative services to meet the growing demands of their customers. Since mobility and convenience are key factors, there is a greater demand for security and trust, writes Juana-Catalina Rodriguez who leads the strategic vision and go-to-market for Digital Identity solutions for MNOs at Gemalto.
One particular challenge they face is subscription fraud which has led many operators to start thinking about solutions to improve how they verify their customers’ identities. But how can they fight this fraud effectively? The answer lies in the deployment of trusted identity verification services that use the latest digital security technologies and have the ability to perform checks in real time.
The impact of ID fraud includes not only the direct cost related to revenue, staff time and goods – it can also have a devastating impact on a brand’s image. Traditional ID verification methods are subject to manual error and provide a frustrating customer experience. In contrast, a digital ID verification solution, which leverages on automated and systematic methods, can have an immediate impact on fraud reduction and seamless customer enrolment.
Integrating the solution with existing equipment and processes results in a better experience for staff and customers and helps pave the way for adoption of digital ID verification. It enables MNOs to streamline and digitise workflows, reducing manual entry and paperwork which could take several days to process while customers get a smoother and faster onboarding experience.
Orange, France’s leading mobile operator, has benefited from this approach to reducing fraud and the resulting financial consequences. In this instance, legacy scanners operated by sales assistants are securely connected to the internet and automatically send the scanned ID documents to a server for instant verification. Upon verification, the sales assistants and fraud departments receive instant reports confirming their status.
A powerful digital ID verification brings a new dimension to customer identity management. While there are a number of associated benefits, here we highlight the four key ones for MNOs: ID verification streamlines customer acquisition, provides better customer support, reduces fraud and enables new digital services for consumers which can be monetised through third parties.
Streamlining customer acquisition
MNOs offer customers different value-added services such as payments, IoT services and peer-to-peer payment solutions, and this list is growing all the time. By deploying an ID verification solution, MNOs could benefit from a consistent and unique digital identity that covers all services at the same time. Therefore, when an existing customer decides to buy a new service, or extend the functionality they already have, it can be done seamlessly and without any additional inconvenience by using their digital ID.
Providing better customer support
For any MNO, it’s important to allow staff the time to focus on the tasks which add value to the company, and make things as simple as possible for their employees. Deploying a solution that is user-friendly right from the start offers a real advantage because it can be improved over time by gathering feedback from sales staff. In Orange’s case, it allowed staff to focus more on consumer care rather than on administrative tasks, helping to build stronger relationships. The reliability of the system was also of great benefit. Staff often experience a huge volume of daily verifications requests, but real-time ID verification in stores has saved, literally, hundreds of hours.
Deploying ID Verification services can help to reduce fraud for MNOs. For example, since Orange introduced Gemalto’s ID Verification tool, Orange fraud in some stores was reduced by 100 per cent. Additionally, performing ID verification checks in front of customers was found to have an extremely dissuasive effect on fraudsters and therefore, discouraged many attempts.
New opportunities through digital services
A multi-channel solution for ID verification which also works remotely, provides a great opportunity for MNOs to take the first step towards the creation of a trusted digital identity. Here, MNOs can position themselves as trusted digital identity aggregators by validating the subscriber’s identity. This could then lead to further opportunities in complementary markets that require ID verification – from online gaming to banking to car rental and many opportunities in the public and private sector.
Solutions that streamline ID verification are hugely valued by both customers and the businesses that need to check their identities. Finding the right balance between accuracy and tolerance for user convenience is critical in this field. If MNOs can get on board with the technology now, it could generate immediate benefits in terms of efficiency and customer service, while opening up many new opportunities in this digital era.