The Identity Landscape – Q&A with Richard Cockle

 1. Why are mobile operators increasingly entering the market for digital identity solutions?

The digital economy demands trust, convenience and security to grow so this demand is driving opportunities for mobile identity solutions to provide and support this area.

For example many operators set up digital authentication to solve their own problem of fragmented login systems across their own services, but have seen how success in this attracts interest from the business community who can see ways to improve their customers’ experience.


2. Why are online businesses interested in what mobile operators, in particular, can bring to the digital identity ecosystem?

Mobile operators have a unique set of data and tools they can bring to the identity ecosystem. At the GSMA, we think of this as a ‘mobile identity toolkit’ that provides services that have use cases for tackling fraud, improving user experience in registration and authentication, helping businesses comply with new regulations and providing fintechs with new ways to qualify possible customers.

In a digital world fast becoming mobile by default, operators are able keep a continuous eye on the link between the mobile device, the subscriber and the phone number, spotting anomalies that can point to fraud.


3. What do you think are the hottest opportunities in digital identity right now?

I’m thinking of two primary ones: firstly financial services, to significantly expand penetration they need to digitally transform and plainly digital ID solutions are essential for that.

But secondly, ‘knowing your customer’ (KYC) is a compliance issue nowadays with the implementation of several regulations including GDPR, AML, CCPA in California. This means businesses need identity services to help them comply and mobile operators can their channel partners can help with this.


4. What trends do you see emerging in the future for digital identity solutions?

Well I’m sure we’ll here more on this from our experts on this site, but a few key ones would include:

o  Growing application of AI to provide a more continuous view of contextual risk in real time

o  More governments and public private consortia initiating and deploying eID designed for use across the internet, not just with  government agencies.

o  Developments in remote identity proofing and verification will increasingly penetrate the mainstream. Advances in document authentication, liveness testing of our video selfies, allied with contextual fraud signals have significantly reduced the risks.