mobile identity

The Power of Mobile Operators in Mobile Identity

27 July 2021
Mobile Identity

A report from Juniper Research found that mobile digital identity will generate over $7 billion for mobile operators in 2024 – a 800% growth from 2019.

As the identity space evolves, mobile operators will play an increasingly important role. But what makes this identity source so unique and why are so many identity providers harnessing the power of mobile operators?

Unmatched Reach

Mobile devices are playing an increasingly important role in our daily lives and mobile connectivity is a powerful tool driving digital transformation on a global scale.

A platform with unmatched reach, mobile connects more than five billion people globally, thus is the obvious source when it comes to proving your identity.

However, simply having a mobile device is not enough. People need to have a trusted digital identity in order to prove that they are who they say they are when performing essential tasks from their phones.

A Wealth of Data

Mobile operators have access to a vast amount of data on their customers, as well as real-time device data and network information. Name, address, DOB, device location data, roaming status, SIM lifecycle and billing status are just some of the assets to hand, and can help detect suspicious behaviours and fraud.

This data is hugely beneficial to third parties such as banks, retailers, or other service providers, needing to authenticate customers who are looking to access their services under the same credentials.

What’s more, relying on a single data source is potentially problematic, so the unique relationship and the wealth of data mobile operators hold on their subscribers can provide a valuable layer of identity intelligence.

Highly Regulated

Many countries have already recognised mobile operators as key players in the fight against identity fraud and have mandated the registration of SIM cards – meaning mobile operators know for sure the user is who they say they are.

Operators are also subject to rigorous regulatory requirements and hold considerable amounts of identity information on their subscribers as a matter of law – making them a highly trusted source of data. User credentials can be checked against such datasets and verified, or anomalies identified which could indicate fraud. 

Owning Digital Trust

According to GSMA, mobile operators are ideal identity partners for digital service providers, offering:

  • Global reach
  • Experience of secure customer data management
  • Conformance with strong privacy protection regulation
  • Network authentication mechanisms
  • Secure SIMs
  • “Know your customer” (KYC) processes
  • Billing and payments expertise / history
  • Consumers’ trust

Mobile operators have a unique array of tools and capabilities, allowing them to ensure trust, which is vital to the continued growth of the digital economy. By leveraging their experience in managing and protecting customer data, they have the potential to be major players in the digital identity ecosystem.

There is an opportunity for mobile operators to own digital trust. However they cannot rely on technology that makes them unique, they have to partner with solutions that use the full capabilities of modern smart devices. After all, technology is just an enabler, mobile or online processes are only effective if people actually trust them.

Fighting Fraud

Experian report that mobile device identity intelligence can increase fraud detection by 45% over other systems. With fraud and cybercrime estimated to cost organisations an estimated $5.2 trillion globally by 2025, it is no wonder that identity solutions with mobile operators at the source are becoming increasingly sought after. 

There are still significant opportunities for mobile operators to get involved in the identity space, and it looks like they could play an essential role in unlocking untapped sources of identity for identity providers.

SLA Digital has the ability to help navigate the mobile identity ecosystem for mobile operators. We focus on connecting operators with mobile identity providers, giving both parties more opportunities to drive new revenue streams through helping customers verify their online identities. Contact us today to find out more. 


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