Winning Consumer Trust: Digital Identity at the MWC’s Innovation City

February 27, 2019

Blog

Digital identity – the processes people use to verify their identities online – may, at a glance, seem only one element of the digital economy, and perhaps a rather procedural one at that. The reality is, however, that the Internet of Things – indeed the digital economy as a whole – will thrive or decline on the success of digital identity solutions. Consumers are increasingly wary of sharing their personal details when carrying out online transactions, and with good cause. 2018 saw 53,000 cybersecurity breaches by mid-year alone, with identity theft making up 65% of all cybercrime, and issues around online privacy and security are barely out of the headlines. Only with widespread consumer confidence will the IoT be able to scale, and the immense promise of eCommerce be reached in full.

Thankfully that work is well under way: the digital identity ecosystem is now growing at speed, supported globally by the mobile industry, and the fruits of this endeavour are coming in thick and fast.  There’s a compelling range of digital identity solutions on show this year in at the Innovation City – where to view the latest ingenious ways in which operators and their partners are enabling consumers and businesses verify identity online.

Renting a car for instance has traditionally been seen as at best tedious, or even something of an ordeal – with customers often needing to set aside an hour or more at a depot to queue up, then establish their identity and credit score through various forms of paperwork, before actually being able to get into the vehicle and commence the trip. This could be achieved without waiting for the middleman, thanks to Clayster and Mobile Connect, the mobile industry’s collaborative digital identity service, which identifies users by pairing them with their mobile device. Connected vehicles can be identified, profiled and collected via a single secure platform, with users able to identify themselves within moments, get on with their journey and then share relevant data securely with approved third parties. As Clayster CEO Rikard Strid asserted, “users’ understanding of who they are sharing data with is crucial to trusting the digital economy, and crucial to auto-rental services like that which is located in the GSMA Innovation City.”

As consumer awareness of Conversational Commerce grows – and ever greater numbers of RCS campaigns are launched, allowing consumers to interact with brands using multimedia features through a native interface – the question of digital identity in RCS is naturally coming to the fore. Consequently users can authenticate securely with Mobile Connect where appropriate, for instance while conversing with the AI chatbots that have helped to launch RCS Business Messaging as a viable business proposition. The latest twist on this by Summit allows users to order merchandise online via a virtual reality headset, through which they can view live bands and make their purchases via AI chatbots.

Employee experience platforms and workplace applications too can now be accessed via Mobile Connect, through a partnership between Microsoft and EnStream, DT and Orange, which allows access to programmes such as Office 365 through the Azure Active Directory. Even the most sensitive processes, such as loan applications and opening a bank account, can now be achieved remotely via mobile device.  Boku Identity, an Identtiy verification service that makes use of oeprator data, allows users to order items on credit or even open an account with a minimum of fuss, by checking network attributes with the user’s operator. Examples like this, and the show of confidence they constitute, illustrate just how far the digital identity ecosystem has come in the last year to winning the consumer trust which is so vital to the future of the connected world.

Demos of these latest additions to the digital identity stable can be viewed at GSMA Innovation City. While there is plenty of work to be done over the coming year to consolidate progress made in securing the IoT and digital commerce, there is a great deal to be celebrated too, and we hope you’ll have some time to drop in and do so with us at the Innovation City.

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