Leveraging Digital ID for Fraud Prevention in Mobile Communications

IDEMIA, the global leader in augmented identity, shares the latest advances in digital identity and its uses in fraud prevention for mobile operators.

Fraud impacts the mobile industry in a myriad of ways, including subscription fraud and account takeovers. Studies show over $29 billion in total fraud losses for mobile network operators (MNO) globally. Of this, over $7 billion is attributed to subscription fraud and account takeovers.

According to research conducted by TransUnion in 2019, nearly half of South Africa consumers have either fallen victim to identity theft or know someone who has. Understandably, the need for mobile network operators (MNO) to decrease the level of fraud and be confident in the claimed identify of their customers is more vital than ever.

IDEMIA believes that biometric-powered digital identity can assist MNOs in certain key areas, including fraud prevention and customer onboarding.

Closing the door on fraudsters

Traditional blacklisting of fraudsters using name, address or credit card account information is no longer efficient. The use of biometric authentication now holds the key to helping mobile operators reduce these losses, protecting themselves and their customers.

Biometric matching gives mobile operators the opportunity to blacklist fraudsters according to their biometric attributes, such as fingerprints or facial. With the ability to match a person to a root of trust, the same individual cannot continue to present with different identify documents.

Onboarding and verifying the legitimate customer

Biometric verification and authentication can be used at various points of the customer experience, whether in store or through a mobile app. During onboarding, biometrically enrolling the customer increases the operational efficiencies and fulfils the increasingly stringent compliance (Know-Your-Customer) standards within the industry. Later on, biometric verification can also be used in the event of, for example, SIM replacement (in the event of a lost or damaged SIM). This would dramatically reduce the incidence of SIM swap fraud.

But more than saving MNOs billion in dollars by increasing efficiency and decreasing fraud, digital identity can itself be a potential new profit stream.

MNOs on the continent are in a distinct position to offer identify services to third parties, helping them to verify their customer identities and carry out the proper authentication. According to research, mobile digital identity will generate over $7 billion for mobile operators in 2024, a 800% growth rate from 2019.  In an increasingly digital world, the opportunities for digital identify verification really are endless.

The demand for verified mobile connections will only increase as the world gets more connected and the population conducts even more of their daily transactions with smart devices. In order to MNOs to effectively and efficiently onboard customers and protect themselves from fraud, digital identity is more than a good-to-have for MNOs. IDEMIA remains committed to deliver secure and seamless technology solutions to MNOs to enable them to upscale their digital offerings to the society.