Earlier in November I tweeted about how MTN reported that identity theft was on the rise and they’re seeing a lot more fraud cases on their mobile contracts.
I was one of those victims, on both MTN and Vodacom’s networks. Luckily both networks were quick to act on solving my cases. Not all cases are resolved as quickly and efficiently.
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. Which prompts 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.
We reached out to IDEMIA, a global leader in Augmented Identity, for comment on how the matter can be addressed. IDEMIA believes that biometric-powered digital identity can assist MNOs in certain key areas, including fraud prevention and customer onboarding.
IDEMIA continued to add that 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.
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.
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.
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