Juniper Research predicts that the use of unique mobile identifier services, which provide identity verification through SIMs, will generate over $7 billion for mobile operators in 2024, up from $859 million in 2019.
The new research, Digital Identity: Technology Evolution, Regulatory Analysis & Forecasts 2019-2024 noted 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.
The research anticipated that other digital players will provide apps on top of this framework, 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.
Smartphone vendors will also capitalise on digital identity via the production of devices with advanced functionality, including biometric identity capabilities. Juniper Research expects over 5 billion smartphones globally to have some form of biometric in 2024, nearly 90% of all smartphones. However, the research firm warned that several services will still need traditional documentation to onboard users initially.
To mitigate the risks of fraud, Juniper Research says the end-to-end process will likely continue to include tie back to an analogue identification system. “As a result, facial recognition will become key as it can bridge the digital-physical gap more easily than other biometrics,” remarked research author James Moar.