Identity verification has become a core component of the betting experience under the auspices of promoting responsible gaming. But at one point or another, we’ve all experienced a long, somewhat convoluted KYC process. And, quite often, this can deter people from creating an account.
So is there a way to simplify the player verification process? And what benefits can this bring to gambling operators?
Fergal Parkinson, Director of TMT Analysis, walks us through the ways his company is helping gambling operators to introduce robust customer verification processes and effectively authenticate a player’s identity.
SBC: Firstly, can you begin by telling us about TMT Analysis?
FP: TMT is a leading provider of information and intelligence on every mobile number globally. Through our single API our customers can connect to a wealth of live telco and other trusted third party data which can authenticate and verify users globally using their devices and phone number.
A mobile phone number is a really great anchor point to a person, it is unique to them and comes with a lot of history which can help when trying to assess risk or simply confirm the details they are giving you at the point of sign up are true and accurate.
This data can also be used to prevent fraud or fake accounts as we can verify a mobile number is true and accurate within milliseconds, as well as protecting against known frauds such as SimSwap fraud which is rife right now.
Our Authenticate product is now used widely around the world to check the mobile device used by a customer at the point of login is the same one you are expecting it to be, without the need for a one-time password or other forms of two factor authentication meaning that the login is quicker and does not require a user to leave an app or a website to verify they are who you think they are.
With the majority of gaming and gambling customers now using their mobile devices, our data is used to verify and authenticate users globally at the point of registration and then every time they log into a session.
SBC: Give us your elevator pitch – what is TMT Analysis bringing to the table that other companies within the information intelligence space aren’t?
FP: There are three reasons why companies use us. Firstly, we have the widest and most accurate data available on the market today.
Secondly we are truly global, unlike many competitors who are simply US in focus we are truly global with connections to the world’s telcos, so as companies expand overseas we are there with them too.
And the third reason is that our full data offering is available globally through a single API, so via just one connection they have access to data globally, no matter where their customers are.
SBC: For the betting and gaming industry, how can mobile intelligence benefit operators when it comes to all things KYC and verification?
FP: We allow gaming and gambling companies to verify and authenticate the identity of their customers, including their name and address, as well as the device they are using in a low-cost, high-assurance, and low-friction way.
As most gaming and gambling customers are now using a mobile device, we provide a strong and robust customer verification at the time of onboarding using our access to real-time live telco data globally.
Customer verification for gambling companies is of particularly high importance, given the risks of fraud and substantial size of transactions. For gaming companies, too, a customer’s phone number is often a key pillar in their engagement strategy to inform them of offers or to bring them back to their app. Verifying a number is real and active and linked to the person you think it is linked to is crucial.
SBC: In what ways is TMT Analysis’ new Authenticate service supporting your partners in this regard?
FP: TMT Authenticate is a frictionless ‘silent’ authentication that uses a live mobile operator check to confirm that the device used by a customer is the same one that you expect it to be, with no requirement for an SMS One Time Password or user intervention.
Authenticate securely links the mobile device that you are communicating with to the number that you expect it to be, without requiring any additional processing or credentials, reducing fraud and friction during a login or on-boarding process.
For gaming companies around the world this means zero friction at the point of login or sign up as it reduces the need for a one-time password and more importantly keeps the customer on your app therefore reducing rates of abandonment.
TMT Authenticate provides a single interface to multiple network operators around the world, meaning you only need to integrate the service into your workflow once.
SBC: How is Authenticate removing the ‘hard work’ from mobile identity and verification processes?
FP: TMT Authenticate really is a game changer in terms of lowering friction for the user. By reducing friction and keeping a customer on a website or app companies increase the chance of gaining and retaining a customer. TMT Authenticate does not require a customer to remember a password, wait for an SMS OTP or download anything to verify themselves.
TMT Authenticate also works faster than receiving an SMS or email OTP and having to input it. Customers therefore do not have to visit another application like their SMS messages or retrieve a code from an email to proceed with the login.
It also reduces fraud and phishing attempts as despite being ubiquitous and easy to use, SMS OTP can be phished and used by fraudsters to take control of an account. TMT Authenticate uses the mobile operators own network. Device identity cannot be cloned or faked. Because the device must call the URL directly, it is also not susceptible to any kind of man-in-the-middle attack.
SBC: How important is it that effective authentication technology is rolled out during the customer onboarding process?
FP: Verifying and authenticating customers at the time of onboarding is critical and now required in many places around the world. Doing this in a low-friction and high-assurance way is critical to this to keep the user happy.
Live telco and device data is ideal for this as it forms part of your global digital identity. So customer details can be checked in real-time using the account records mobile network operators keep on their customers, easily verifying someone’s details and the device they are using at the time of on-boarding and every time they log into the service.