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Strategic partnerships will help build success in the Identity industry

It’s a tough world out there. Dog eat dog. Where the patent is king and organisations succeed or fail based on their ability to overcome the competition. Protecting company secrets and developing a ‘secret sauce’ to stay ahead of the game is the normal order of things – but perhaps strategic partnerships in the identity industry could help?

Do traditional market rules work in identity?

The world of digital identity is new and immature. The use of mobile telecoms data to enhance authentication and anti-fraud services even newer. Perhaps it’s not actually the case that unfiltered competition is the best way to deliver global success, perhaps in certain circumstances it’s not possible for one company to provide a global identity verification solution applicable and usable for all?

In our view, the creation of a globally interoperable ecosystem that will transform identity services from paper-based to truly digital is necessary and cannot be built and run by one entity. Organisations with truly global reach, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle and others, will need strategic partnerships in the identity industry in order to support and use an identity infrastructure that provides complementary elements and will be useful to their dispersed user base.

A new way of working

The mobile market is huge – over 800 mobile operators in 200+ countries serving pretty much every adult on the planet. This is the very definition of big data.

The digital identity ecosystem is best understood by viewing it as a wheel, with a hub that ensures that the various initiatives and elements of the industry are aligned and part of the same journey, and with many spokes delivering different elements of a global service to the end user. The GSMA and other parties play an excellent role in supporting the hub at the industry’s centre, coordinating competing organisations and, in the GSMA’s case, even presenting a global vision for mobile to the United Nations in New York, but they do not have the mandate or commercial power to enforce a single aligned solution.

Sekura, Prove, Zumigo, Boku and others are building spokes and competing in the identity verification market, providing similar but subtly different services to big clients worldwide. In an environment where there will not be a single solution mandated from above, the identity wheel will build speed more quickly where cooperation between competitors (a situation some have awkwardly described as ‘co-opetition’) enables collaborate in markets all over the world, driving alignment and standardisation in services and simplifying the customer proposition.

Building a mature identity industry

Identity started with physical paper passports. Global passport recognition enables us to use a single document to travel freely anywhere – it’s a global standard. The same need is evident in digital identity and our industry is engaged in a global initiative to standardise this electronically. There are many players already developing services, many moving parts, competing ideas and conflicting objectives. In order to build a successful identity industry we need partnerships.

A mature industry ecosystem, effective supply chain and established partnerships are nothing new, and ensure that other industries are a success. We believe in openness and collaboration, supporting all players in our industry to develop the ecosystem together. This will maximise our combined chance of success, and will be more rewarding for all concerned. It’s critical for us to ensure that our team is engaged and motivated and we believe that by being a central part of a collaborative industry we can help achieve this.

To learn more about how we work, or to discuss the Sekura approach with any of our team, Contact Us.