-Pierre Demarche, VP of Marketing & Product Management – TeleSign
The digital landscape is one of constant and rapid evolution, fueled by new ideas and new technologies. However, this evolution is being interrupted by the increasing presence of data breaches and online fraud that leaves personal credentials exposed and user experiences broken.
To help address this problem, digital businesses have created an entire ecosystem that uses the phone number as the primary identifier for verification of end users around the world. These phone numbers enable businesses to verify users on their platform in order to stop creation of fraudulent and fake accounts, to keep accounts secure, and to secure and reset passwords by sending verification codes to the phone as a second factor of authentication.
While on the surface phone numbers may seem like one of the most basic assets operators have, the data around those phone numbers is quickly proving to be of high value for any brand with an online presence. As that ecosystem continues to grow, so does the need for phone numbers to address more and more of the digital experience, and consequently the value that mobile network operators can extract out of it.
Mobile Identity – Going Beyond Verification
The phone number has shown to be the most ubiquitous and reliable identity attribute for end users of online platforms. Today, with increasing web activity and a growing number of web services & apps, its usage has become more common, more necessary, and more ubiquitous than ever before. However, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of how phone numbers can support the expansion of the digital world.
The value of the mobile phone number and its data lies in its position at the intersection between the telco and digital spaces. This is material to operators, as it allows them to provide identity insights that establish a trusted and consistent form of connection that can evolve between brands and their customers – the mobile subscribers. Data points like SIM Swap, Porting Status, Number Deactivation, and Device Type are already helping businesses protect their users against growing types of online fraud. The growing need for phone number data is providing an opportunity for operators to further leverage their assets and their influence on the digital ecosystem.
Operator Data and Digital Growth
Over the next five years the intelligence provided by operator data will be integrated more and more to enable and improve the online customer experience. As the value and size of the digital market grows, mobile network operators will find increasing revenue opportunities in monetizing those existing assets that help to connect and protect users, and digital marketplaces will come to better understand and utilize the value of phone number intelligence to enhance the experience they offer to their users. In addition, cloud communications and mobile identity will continue to converge to provide more relevant and secure communication solutions.
Operators should embrace this evolving connection to online brands and leverage the opportunity to play a key role in fueling growth in the digital experience. This will require cooperation and coordination between both worlds, but if achieved it can deliver mutual value – financially and from a customer experience perspective. And with this value comes increased evolution in the digital space that will continue to open up new opportunities for operators, brands and consumers around the world. Simply put, bridging the digital and telco worlds has never been so important.