Podcast 40: TADSummit Innovators, Mark Harvey, SEKURA.id

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Sekura provides real-time mobile authentication, verification and fraud prevention from mobile operators to global banks, fintechs, crypto and consumer brands.

Their focus is mobile identity and achieving the broadest coverage across 75 carriers and 2.5 billion mobile phone customers. They focus on the connection to carriers using Mobile Connect and all the variations and complications that come with that.

Mark positioned what they do as Mobile to Person Matching (MPM), or mobile KYC (know your customer). You’ll also see the term silent authentication is used. It’s a 2FA (2 Factor Authentication), like SMS OTP (One Time Password), just vastly more secure. When a carrier implements Mobile Connect, it confirms the phone number’s SIM is in the possession of the customer. Yes the Camara number verify complicates things, hence why aggregators will continue to be essential for this business.

<Editor’s comment> Mobile connect was initially built for developers, but without having W3C take the lead to build something dev centric. Hence the GSMA built something that requires an aggregator to make it work for enterprises. To the Camara folks, please take note.

Sekura has focused on coverage, and managing all the real-world implementation details across coverage, slipping out of date number:carrier mappings, and attempting to smooth pricing variations. Some carriers are still an order of magnitude out on pricing.

We delved into some of the challenges Mobile Connect still faces, for example with MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) numbers, device binding, and how not all carriers have yet implemented Mobile Connect. As Mark mentioned several times, this market will develop slowly.

Identity verification and risk is a large established market with many global players delivering broad industry focused solutions, e.g. Mastercard (Ekata), Experian, Transunion, AsiaVerify, trustingSocial, Id.layr, Okta, LexisNexis, Prove, Telesign, Seon, Socure to name just a few. Claiming you have a SIM swap API without all the real-world solutions wrap makes it irrelevant to most businesses. Hence why Sekura is an important spoke in the identity verification wheel.

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