KYC Verification to Eliminate SIM Card Fraud in the Telecoms Industry

Posted on September 12, 2022
Written by Clare Puplett

The last two years have seen the acceleration of consumers using their mobile devices for a multitude of applications. Users want a seamless and safe experience that delivers a fully digital experience via their mobile network.

At the start of their journey, they look for speed and security when activating their SIM subscription. Security continues to play an important role throughout the contract and use of the mobile device, particularly as smartphones are used for banking and an increasing number of financial transactions.

The UK mobile payments market is said to have more than 10 million users with mobile payments making up nearly one quarter of all smartphone users in the country according to data from Statista.

With SIM card fraud on the rise, the telecoms industry is under pressure to deploy ID verification when onboarding new SIM users to confirm the user is who they say they are.

What is SIM card fraud?

SIM card swaps or fraudulent Port Outs occur when a fraudster obtains a replacement SIM card. The fraudster convinces the mobile operator that they are the victim of theft, or they have lost their device.

Often the fraudster will locate the victim’s personal details through a mixture of confidence tricks and online stalking, and then use those details to get access to the victim’s bank accounts through the mobile apps.

The tactic hasn’t really changed over the last few years even though mobile phones and security measures have advanced. A fraudster will obtain the personal information – bank details, address, date of birth by stalking the victim on social media or mining stolen data. Once they have convinced the mobile operator, they pass over the info they have obtained and request a new SIM card. On receipt they change the personal settings and open-up access to online banking apps and fraudulently transfer money to other accounts.

Quite simply – the fraudster ‘hijacks the phone”, for monetary gain.

How can the Telecoms Industry Prevent SIM Fraud?

Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO’s) are increasingly turning to eKYC onboarding that use facial recognition or liveness detection for verifying new SIM users. Many businesses conduct manual KYC, (Know Your Customer) checks that specify identification, due diligence and risk assessment procedures for verifying identities. These are no longer robust enough for digital and mobile transactions.

In an increasingly digital world, mobile operators must match their verification process to digital and mobile realities. This can be achieved by remote verification using biometric technology.

Using camera-enabled smartphone technology, an individual can be visually checked (using facial recognition, lip-syncing and voice technologies, amongst others), whilst, at the same time and within minutes, their documents can be checked online for validity, against a range of national and international databases. Much of this technology is new, but has been validated by the regulators and, as well as providing an almost instant confirmation, also delivers a robust audit trail.

Secure eKYC Onboarding for Telecoms

Reducing manual processes and improving onboarding times are music to the ears of mobile users. Customers want their onboarding journey to be hassle-free and as quick as possible. If they can achieve this, their abandonment rates reduce and they build a longer term, loyal relationship with their provider.

Their confidence will also be boosted as they experience a safer and more secure experience.

White labelled Solution for Telecoms eKYC Verification

RemoteVerify from NorthRow is a versatile solution that is intuitive and user-friendly for managing the latest techniques for biometric verification to reduce fraudulent activities. It has a distinct set of features and can be white labelled for the benefit of any Telecoms business.

RemoteVerify not only simplifies the onboarding process to minimise the risk of fraud by ensuring the user is the rightful owner of the SIM card but it also allows the telecom operator to evaluate the risk associated with customers via the verification checks.

Key benefits include:-

–       Reduction in identity fraud

–       Better customer experience

–       Superior brand reputation

–       Reduced onboarding costs

–       Better KYC compliance

To learn more about identifying and eliminating SIM card fraud you can request a callback now to find out how NorthRow can save your business time and eliminate risk.