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What is mobile identity?

Mobile identity is a relatively new concept, but it could revolutionize how we access products and services in the future. This is because mobile identity uses the identity attributes that are tied to a mobile device so that they can be used for identity verification, authentication, and authorization purposes.

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November 3, 2022
Blog Post

Mobile phones were designed with the intention of improving the way we communicate with each other. However, in the modern age, smartphones have taken on a far greater role in our lives.

Today, our mobile phones present us with unprecedented levels of convenience. Whether we want to text a loved one, update our social media, send an email, or transfer money from our online banking account, mobile phones allow this to happen in an instant. Central to how this level of convenience may unfold in the future is the concept of mobile identity. But, what is mobile identity?

Mobile identity is a relatively new concept that’s still in its infancy. However, it could revolutionize how we access products and services in the future. This is because mobile identity uses the identity attributes that are tied to a mobile device so that they can be used for identity verification, authentication, and authorization purposes.

In a nutshell, mobile identity processes data from mobile network operators, such as a customer’s: 

  • Mobile phone number (MSISDN)
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Address

This data is used to authenticate and identify users throughout their journey without any disruption to their experience. It is continuously active in the background, which means that it protects both a business and its customers in real-time.

Some people discuss mobile identity in relation to the concept of federated identity. This term refers to a single digital identity that a person uses across multiple websites or systems. Countries such as Canada and Iran have explored the idea in detail.

Overall, mobile identity is an extension of digital identity, which is provided via mobile networks or devices. However, it is not just an enabler for logging in and transacting. Mobile identity can also play a central role in communication and interaction with people and things. It’s envisioned as a safe, all-in-one ID that lets people shop, travel, and use vital services such as healthcare and education.

Why is a mobile identity so important?

Mobile identity has the ability to revolutionize online activities for billions of users around the world. This is because it ensures financial inclusion and enables access to an improved number of online services; especially for those who do not currently appear on typical financial databases.

On top of this, mobile identity also allows users to prove who they are online. This is especially important in scenarios where a traditional credit history does not exist, or indeed any non-banking scenario where a user must prove their identity before accessing information or a service, but does not own a traditional identity document.  

Due to the benefits provided by digital identities, organizations around the world are now exploring how mobile devices can be used to supplement and even replace traditional identity documents. In fact, the coronavirus pandemic forced enterprises, institutions, and governments to transform and prioritize digital and mobile identities above other forms of ID when face-to-face verification sessions were not possible.

Benefits of mobile identity for businesses

Mobile identities provide a number of benefits for businesses. After all, they can help simplify your sign-up process, prevent password issues, and protect your users from fraud. As an added bonus, the process of verifying a mobile identity can be completed in as little as five seconds.

Mobile identities also allow your partners and employees to sign-up, sign-in, and share information about themselves securely. On top of this, the prevalence of mobile phones and the relatively low cost of some mobile IDs compared to a card-based system can make mobile ID an attractive option for businesses looking to streamline operations.

With a mobile identity verification system in place, your business can eliminate friction during the onboarding process. Plus, this form of verification can also secure and speed up the authentication process.

Overall, this means that you can protect customers from fraudsters, improve the user experience, and increase engagement. With the help of silent mobile verification, you can even confirm your customers really are who they are claiming to be by verifying their phone number securely and silently in the background.

How to protect mobile identities for your customers

By providing instant and accurate user identity confirmation, you can keep your business and its customers safe. By verifying each customer using their mobile identity before they’re allowed to access their account or any sensitive information, you’ll be able to keep all user and business information secure. 

Mobile identities are perfect for this process. This is because the process of verifying mobile identities sources customer data directly from mobile phone operators. This data includes the customer’s mobile phone number (MSISDN), first name, last name, address, and other attributes like location and device type. This means mobile identities are highly secure as no data is stored. It is only ever processed to enable user verification.

Mobile identity management best practices for B2B

As mobile identity links a user’s identity to their mobile device when they attempt to access an account or a service, the concept is most commonly considered in B2C contexts. However, it’s also applicable for B2B because the technology can be used to secure mobile communication and safely sync documents and files between devices on different systems. Due to this, mobile identity management solutions are particularly common in healthcare, manufacturing, and automotive industries.

When deployed in these scenarios, mobile identity management solutions enable the IT teams of large networks to better manage user activity, by monitoring and tracking who has access to what data. In this regard, mobile identity management in a B2B context improves network security, increases flexibility, and secures existing infrastructures.

Overall, in B2B, mobile identity management can help you connect and protect your business-to-business ecosystem. This is because it enables you to delegate and manage access to business partners, suppliers, and your extended workforce. It can also improve your collaboration efforts, integrate new things in your value chain, and reduce your admin costs.

How Veriff supports mobile identity management

At Veriff, we understand that your customers want a seamless experience from anywhere and at any time. That’s why we’ve developed solutions that help you adopt mobile technologies while also managing risk and ensuring compliance with regulations.

With the help of our solutions, you can ensure that only authorized users can access their accounts and any sensitive data on their mobile device.

Our identity verification solution can help you onboard and reverify more real customers while also stopping bad actors in their tracks. The process can be completed on a mobile phone and it can keep your business safe without damaging customer retention.

With the help of our solution, you can convert and onboard more users thanks to superior accuracy and an improved customer experience. You can also reduce friction in the process and verify the identity of your customers in only six seconds.

Following this, you can reverify users with biometric authentication. With Veriff, you’re ensuring a smooth UX for users looking to access an account, but you’re also making use of a fraud engine that detects, prevents, and blocks fraudsters in real-time.

Speak with the identity verification experts at Veriff

If you’d like to learn more about the identity verification process and how our solutions can support your business, then speak to our identity verification experts today.

Simply tell us a bit about your business and we’ll put you in touch with our team right away. We’ll then explain exactly how our solutions help you convert more real customers, simplify the verification process, and help you comply with regulations.