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Telesign x Future Identity: A unique approach to identity framework

December 2, 2021

Telesign Team
A young woman using a smartphone.

For those of you interested in the overall architecture of identity innovation, the Future Identity Festival is a perfect fit. The hybrid event offers groundbreaking ideas and optimistic visions for the future of identity. It connects many different groups, including policymakers, tech providers and more.

The 2021 Future Identity Festival in The Brewery, London, was filled with visionary ideas on how to create a working digital identity ecosystem for the future.

Telesign is excited to have sent Surash Patel, VP EMEA to the Fintech Talents and Future Identity Festival, where he spoke on the panel discussion ÔThe Infrastructure of Identity Innovation’ Together with Ravneet Shah, Allica Bank, and Mark Haine, The Open ID Foundation. We’ve recapped some of the main ideas Surash presented at the event.

The lively session covered a wide range of identity related topics – we’ve recapped some of our favorite topics here.

What Telesign does and why it’s important for the future of identity

We’re seeing major trends around how brands react to new users and accounts, particularly in the onboarding process. The digital identity security technology available to brands needs to be easy to implement and use.  

“Telesign bolsters digital identity around phone numbers and helps brands make informed decisions about accounts during onboarding processes. We provide API and data that make security assessment accessible to businesses. This accessibility includes making things more convenient for engineering teams to incorporate these tools.”

There is a potential conflict within companies these days, with more things going digital. This conflict is between marketing/advertising resources used trying to bring new customers to the brand and the attempts at protecting all parties involved.

“Lots of money is spent by advertisers to attract customers, things are moving online, and brands must be more cautious. At the buying decision point, we’ve noticed a big drop-off due to process. Telesign offers brands Ôinvisible’ checks, which are frictionless and happen in real-time during the customer journey. This is important for the future of identity because digital identity fraud is growing and the biggest threat to enterprises is coming through the customers.”

Differences between customer security needs geographically

It would make things a lot easier if each country had the exact same needs when it came to mobile phones and other potential authentication identifiers. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Even with a global trend to check mobile phone numbers to verify a user, there is some hesitation in countries like the UK, where buying a SIM is easy, which potentially weakens the process. The solution to this lies in a comprehensive level of checks.

“We provide a reputation score for telephone numbers. Through our fraud consortium, we’re able to provide a rating for pretty much any phone number on a global basis. And that’s updated near real-time, so when a brand is looking at a phone number, they can very quickly tell if they should put the customer on a higher/lower path of resistance. Bringing it all together with the APIs and all this information, companies will be able to take all these different data points into account.”

How Telesign re-checks their reputation score ratings for telephone numbers

Given the ever-changing world of technology and fraud attempts, it’s important to avoid stagnation, especially when it comes to the security of identity. A proactive approach, as you’ll see, gives brands the best chance to stop fraud in its tracks.

“Whenever a new fraudster comes along with a malicious act using a phone number – whether it’s a prepaid or burner phone – and tries to use that phone, there is a window before brands will react. However, our fraud consortium will see that in real-time, so we’re able to update their Score for that phone.”

How Telesign helps people be less hesitant to interact with brands online  

Many customers have come to distrust their online transactions, particularly when it comes to providing information. The process of making a purchase has gone beyond a simple exchange of necessary information and now is a barrage of overcollection. The industry needs a real plan to prevent this distrust.

“One of the things we promote is progressive onboarding, where you only ask for the info needed to fulfill that transaction. And if you are going to have a longer relationship with that customer, then ask for more information as time goes on. This builds more trust. Too many brands ask for too much information upfront and then justify to consumers why they’re asking for it and therefore, as any consumer would, you put in synthetic data. That makes the next part of the journey harder because you base it on that data, so I think as an industry, more education on progressive onboarding would be useful.”

How the industry can ensure security for all users, not just a select few

Finally, we turn our attention to the industry as a whole, and the extent of its security coverage to users. When access is equal across the board, everybody is safe and businesses thrive.  

“If you look across the world, we’ve all kinds of different degrees of access to IT, and the worst thing we can do is leave people behind. As more things are going online, we’re seeing that happening with older generations because things are getting too complicated. From a customer viewpoint, they don’t have access to resources of large corporations. We need to make people more comfortable when they do access these services online by ensuring their security/identity is taken seriously.”

Brief roundup:

  • Telesign is on the front lines of bringing accessible security assessment to businesses
  • A real-time Trust Score prevents users from different areas from becoming vulnerable due to differences in SIM use
  • Progressive onboarding allows users to sign up with minimal friction, and only give extensive information when needed
  • Making people comfortable with security services ensures inclusion

With how important digital identity is, new information is the key to protection. The Future Identity Festival provides hope, through innovative ideas, that this protection will be effective and constantly evolving.  

If you’re interested in attending the next Future Identity festival, or just want more information, click here. To find out more about Telesign’s responsibility to adapt future digital identity issues, read about our digital identity APIs.