Digital identity revenue for mobile network operators to exceed $8 billion by 2025

Mobile operators to play “increasingly important role” in providing verification of digital identity

Posted 9 December 2020 by

Mobile network operator (MNO) revenue from digital identity will reach $8.1 billion in 2025, up from just $1.3 billion in 2020.

A new study from Juniper Research has found that, as the identity space evolves, MNOs will play an increasingly important role in providing verification of digital identity and universal login based on subscriber identity.

This is particularly important in emerging markets where banking penetration is lower, notes Juniper.
The research, Digital Identity: Technology Evolution, Regulatory Landscape & Forecasts 2020-2025, also says that MNOs should be “able to play the role of a guarantor of identity”. It suggests that vendors employ robust KYC (Know Your Customer) checks to ensure the security of identities.

Verification critical to securing identity networks

The report found that verification needs further adoption to secure digital identity. It recommends leveraging the large availability of smartphones featuring biometric capabilities, projected at more than 5.2 billion in 2025, to ensure a secure digital identity environment by authorising identity use within digital onboarding. This initial secure verification will be critical in making identity available in high-trust environments, such as financial services.

“Bringing biometric verification within digital identity requires robust orchestration capabilities and extensive partnerships, meaning that digital identity vendors must focus on building out their ecosystems,” said the report’s co-author Nick Maynard.

API economy has big identity implications

The research also found that the rise of open APIs is stimulating the digital identity market, by providing interconnected data and allowing access to different systems.

As such, identity vendors have more data than ever, but this comes with the challenges of ensuring that all the data is orchestrated correctly and that the transaction is correctly authorised or declined. The research recommends AI as critical to this orchestration, but highlighted ‘explainability’ around decisions as essential for supporting greater digital identity use, particularly in highly regulated markets, such as financial services.