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Secure Digital Identity Services Gain New Momentum

The concept of a 'digital identity' is now established as a high priority, in an online world that's plagued with cybercriminals and others that profit from fraudulent activities. That said, digital identity is less about presenting a digital persona, and more about sharing verified identifiable data.

A digital version of ‘you’ does have a place in the commercial ecosystems being built today. With the versatility inherent in many modern digital identity systems, life events and portable identities take on new meaning. Besides, there's a significant market opportunity for telecom service providers.

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, mobile network operator (MNO) revenue from digital identity will reach $8.1 billion in 2025 -- that's up from just $1.3 billion in 2020.

Secure Digital Identity Market Development

Juniper analysts found that, as the online identity space evolves, MNOs will play an increasingly important role in providing verification of digital identity and universal login based on subscriber identity.

This verification role is particularly important in emerging markets around the globe where traditional banking and financial services penetration is lower.

The study identified that these capabilities would form a critical part of emerging identity networks, with MNOs able to play the role of a guarantor of identity.

The research findings, and Juniper analyst assessment, recommend that technology vendors employ robust Know Your Customer (KYC) checks to ensure the security of online identities.


The new research also found that verification needs further adoption to secure digital identities. Therefore, Juniper recommends leveraging the large availability of smartphones featuring biometric capabilities -- projected at over 5.2 billion in 2025 -- to ensure a secure digital identity environment by authorizing identity use within digital onboarding.

It's assumed that this initial verification will be critical in making a secure online identity available in high-trust environments, such as financial services and banking.

"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 Nick Maynard, lead analyst at Juniper Research.

Moreover, Juniper uncovered that the rise of open application programming interfaces (APIs) are stimulating the digital identity market, by providing interconnected data and allowing access to different systems.

Outlook for Digital Identity Application Growth

As such, digital 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 authorized or declined.

The analyst recommends artificial intelligence (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 and banking.

I believe that restrictions introduced to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have created many challenges for enterprise IT teams, particularly in the area of cybersecurity. Organizations that have the majority of their employees working from home must reevaluate their remote network access policies. There is a reason why a 'zero-trust' policy is now pervasive -- digital identity matters.

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