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Secure Digital Identity in a Global Networked Economy

In the Global Networked Economy, your digital identity is very important. Every organization wants to know, from retailers to banks. There are two issues: fraudsters can exploit the system when an email address or password is all that's required. When the burden of proof is higher, this can be problematic for users.

According to the latest worldwide study by Juniper Research, the applications of unique mobile identifier services, which provide secure digital identity verification through SIMs, will generate over $7 billion for mobile network operators in 2024. This estimate is up from an expected $859 million in 2019 -- a growth rate of over 800 percent.

Digital Identity Market Development

The new research findings noted that, particularly in emerging economies with limited government identity provision, mobile phones will become the primary source of digital 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.

The analyst anticipated that other digital players will provide software applications on top of this framework, with over 600 million discrete third-party identity apps using the mobile network operator-provided functions.


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

Smartphone vendors will also capitalize on digital identity via the production of new devices with advanced functionality -- including biometric identity capabilities.

Juniper Research expects over 5 billion smartphones globally to have some form of biometric in 2024 -- that's nearly 90 percent of all smartphones.

Outlook for Digital Identity Applications Growth

However, the researchers also warned that several services will still need traditional documentation to onboard users initially. As a result, Juniper analysts forecast 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  James Moar, senior analyst at Juniper Research. "Many services require a tie back to an existing form of ID, which typically means analog 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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