Tuesday, 13 August 2019 03:01

Mobile Digital Identity a US7 billion ‘opportunity’ in 2024: analyst

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The use of unique mobile identifier services, which provide identity verification through SIMs, will generate over $7 billion globally for mobile operators in 2024 – up from an expected $859 million in 2019, a growth of over 800%, according to a newly published analyst report.

The new research - Digital Identity: Technology Evolution, Regulatory Analysis & Forecasts 2019-2024  - from Juniper Reseach notes that, particularly in emerging economies with limited government identity provision, mobile phones will become the primary source of identity for over 3 billion people by 2024.

“These will be used heavily because they are simpler to scale than card-based identity, particularly in areas of Southeast Asia and Africa, where pre-existing government-issued identities are less common,” says Juniper.

The research anticipated that other digital players will provide apps, with over 600 million discrete third-party identity apps using the operator-provided functions.

“These third-parties will typically monetise API calls from identity requestors, cutting operators out of this space, but the latter could potentially leverage their position in the future to gain further revenue,” Juniper says.

“Smartphone vendors will also capitalise on digital identity via the production of devices with advanced functionality, including biometric identity capabilities.”

And Juniper Research says it expects over 5 billion smartphones globally to have some form of biometric in 2024 - nearly 90% of all smartphones.

However, the research warned that several services will still need traditional documentation to onboard users initially, and as a result, it forecasts that traditional forms of identification will not be entirely displaced by mobile forms in the near future.

“Service onboarding is still an opportunity for fraud, despite advances in biometric technology”, said research author James Moar.

“Many services require a tie back to an existing form of ID, which typically means analogue identification. As a result, facial recognition will become key as it can bridge the digital-physical gap more easily than other biometrics.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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