The customer onboarding challenge facing telecom companies and a digital solution
Telecom companies might have been expanding at a rapid pace to reach the farthest corners of the world. With that goal achieved there were new challenges to navigate – like plummeting revenues from traditional mainstays like voice calls and a new competitor in the form of OTT services.
For telcos, this was indeed a unique situation where most of the revenue generation was taking place from selling video traffic from streaming services like YouTube or Netflix.
With the demand for financial services also increasing and customers demanding digital solutions to make transactions, telecom companies are adding value-added services to their portfolio of offerings. Among the most popular of these is enabling mobile money and integrating digital payments in telecom. In fact, these seem to be the obvious next step.
The need to enable mobile money
Today mobile money such as e-wallets have become an organic part of customer lives. With mobile money, it becomes easier to transfer money or conduct essential financial transactions even when there are no banks nearby. This increases accessibility, which can especially be a huge advantage in rural areas.
The reduced dependency on cash reduces the inherent risks of cash handling such as loss, theft, or fraud. Lower transaction costs, no dependency on middlemen for money transfers, and the agility and flexibility in financial transactions have been key factors driving the growth of mobile money.
The mobile money system can be accessed even by geographically inaccessible communities and by those falling into the low-income groups. Mobile money platforms can also be accessed by the most basic mobile phones making them more inclusive.
The Mobile Money Challenge
With mobile money offerings, telecom providers get the opportunity to deepen their relationship with the customers and increase customer stickiness. However, launching mobile money offerings demands taking cognizance of not just telecom regulations and compliance but also ensuring adherence with the prevailing regulatory compliance norms of the financial space.
Exhaustive regulatory requirements
KYC norms and the documentation needs of the financial space are more exhaustive and often onerous. The challenge then becomes providing elevated digital experiences without compromising on the regulatory requirements. Strong customer identity verification and onboarding capabilities become essential traits that contribute positively to customer experience. However, this in itself becomes a challenge when these companies do not have a strong technology solution that can serve as a backbone to drive these experiences.
Simplified onboarding to drive better experiences
Developing strong digital capabilities and simplifying customer onboarding and KYC becomes especially important to survive in the post-pandemic world. With customers demanding all interactions be digital, enabling intelligent customer onboarding services not only serves to improve the regulatory compliance posture but significantly drives better customer experiences. Technologies such as AI, image analytics, and powerful automation power such solutions and make digital identity verification and customer onboarding convenient and secure.
Elevated security and fast authentication
e-KYC solutions also need to be comprehensive and secure. They should be able to create digital identities easily. Digital IDs not only serve verification and authentication processes but help providers deliver a higher degree of security and privacy protection while also providing uniqueness. Digital IDs improve the traditional paper-based experience of authenticating people’s identities via online traditional verification such as passports or driving licenses and use biometrics (iris, face, fingerprint), PINs, security tokens, passwords, geolocation, or online document verification to fulfil these needs.
Accurate and fast processes for greater data accuracy
Looking at a robust and intelligent e-KYC solution also reduces the need to depend on manpower to conduct this task. Manual processes also make it harder to maintain data transparency and make it difficult to leverage data to drive better digital experiences. Telecom providers not only improve customer relationships but also bring in greater transparency to the system with intelligent systems.
Using GPS and OCR technologies coupled with technologies such as AI and Machine Learning can supercharge and optimize the KYC process making it more accurate, useful, and time-efficient. Machine Learning-based document validation that provides country-specific identity document integration, facilitates automated data extraction and enables automated verification and validation integration makes the KYC process smoother, faster, and more secure.
Fraud prevention along with faster data extraction
Machine learning-based face match validation and liveness detection further make the online onboarding process more secure and prevent impersonation fraud. AI-based identity and document validation & verification and geo-location identification capabilities can further help the telecom companies balance regulatory requirements without compromising on security and customer experience.
OCR-based automated data extraction from documents makes the data extraction process faster, accurate, and time-efficient. With the entire process becoming faster, process-driven, and more streamlined, onboarding and acquiring a customer happens at a lower cost and with the least amount of risk. This becomes especially relevant for onboarding low-net-worth customers or for tapping the potential of emerging markets as telcos need to identify ways to lower customer acquisition and onboarding costs to maximize their margins.
There was once a time when the role of telecom companies was to enable simple telecommunication needs. A clear connection, regular service was all that one asked for. Today, this world has changed dramatically. From shopping to banking and now business, the world has shrunk into the palm of the customer. Rising competition in the telecom sector and increasing customer expectations for differentiated experiences are compelling telecom companies to review their service offerings and deliver whatever the customer wants. And today, the customer wants mobile money.
Telecom companies must look towards enabling robust digital solutions powered by cutting-edge technology to make sure security and customer experience do not stand at loggerheads. With the right solution, robust financial security and customer convenience do not become opposing goals. The right solution that covers all the relevant and essential checkpoints builds greater trust in the digital infrastructure and enhances microlending capabilities. This proves to be immensely helpful to expand the footprint in emerging markets by improving due diligence that usually suffers because of non-standard identity and inconsistent credit scoring.