EE launches Digital Identity platform to fight against online fraud

EE is introducing a new security system to protect its customers from crime, in particular relating to banking fraud.

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As security improves, criminals always look to find new ways to commit crime. This can include things like breaking into homes to steal car keys, building radio extenders to unlock keyless car locks, and also finding ways around online banking systems.

One way criminals have been able to steal money from bank accounts has been illegally obtaining a replacement SIM card, so text messages with authorisation requests or codes from your bank will go to the new SIM card, just as your card is unexpectedly disconnected.

EE’s new setup will help its business customers (such as banks) protect its customers, as the Digital Identify platform can verify a customer’s identity in real-time.

EE can now inform a bank if a SIM has recently been swapped, prompting further security checks. Even if a SIM Swap fraud hasn’t taken place, EE can also check if a call divert has been set up to direct calls to another number.

Millions of online transactions take place every day, with fraud totalling £824.8 million in 2019 (source: UK Finance Report).

Wherever there’s money, criminals won’t ever be far behind. That’s why these new measures are being introduced to keep one step ahead.

More information on how it works can be found in the press release below.

Press Release

EE launches identity checker to help businesses protect customers against fraud

  • EE’s Digital Identity platform offers online identity checks which protect against fraud in real time, helping make customer transactions safer
  • This is supporting banking partners in the UK detect SIM Swap fraud and prevent financial transactions, helping to stop customers from having their money stolen
  • Digital Identity is part of BT’s plan to innovate to help protect customers from fraud

16 July 2020, London – EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator and part of BT Group, has announced its new Digital Identity platform, which helps protect customers from becoming victims of fraud. Through a series of checks, the platform quickly and seamlessly verifies a customer’s identity in real time, helping to prevent identity theft and fraudulent activities.

A common type of criminal activity that EE tackles with the Digital Identity platform is SIM swap fraud; an account takeover where a customer’s phone number is transferred without the account holder’s knowledge. A fraudster can then intercept messages or calls to the phone number and gain unauthorised access to online accounts.

EE’s Digital Identity ‘SIM Swap’ checker allows businesses to know when a customer’s SIM was last changed, as a recent change could indicate potential fraud. With banking partners, this information is then used to stop financial transactions taking place until further identity checks are carried out. Similarly, the Digital Identity ‘Call Divert’ feature confirms that no call diversions have been put in place on a phone number, so all calls reach the intended user and are not diverted to a fraudulent number.

EE has already helped a number of banks across the UK to protect customers using Digital Identity, showing the benefits of using the platform when authenticating customers.

The platform can also help prevent fraudulent online account sign ups with its ‘Know Your Customer’ product. A business can cross-check new customer data with data held in the EE databases and see if a phone has been reported lost or stolen, so they can be confident that a customer’s identity is genuine. It also creates a more seamless experience for the customer, as they don’t have to provide their own verification or intervene in any additional checks.

With millions of online transactions taking place every month and increasing year on year, new approaches to fraud protection are needed to protect customers against unauthorised financial fraud losses, which totalled £824.8 million in 2019. This has decreased 2% since 2018, showing new identity verification products, such as the Digital Identity platform, are helping businesses in multiple markets authenticate a customer’s online activity and prevent unauthorised fraud.

Christian Thrane, Managing Director of Consumer Marketing at BT said: “At BT and EE, we are committed to innovating to help protect customers from fraud and are already working closely with a number of industries, including banking, eCommerce and gaming, to protect millions of transactions every day. We are continuing to move into new sectors to help prevent even more fraudulent activity, so consumers across the UK can be confident in the safety of their online experiences.”

The UK’s Mobile Network Operators work closely together to build the best solutions to protect customers, facilitated by the GSMA.

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