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eKYC in telecom – What is it and why do telcos need it?

4 min read
Published on: 22 Nov 2022
Updated on: 23 February, 2023
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eKYC in telecom, also known as Electronic Know Your Customer, is an overlooked yet important part of creating a fully digital customer onboarding process. Not many service providers (SPs) currently have the feature implemented. Or they have it, but it doesn’t provide a fully frictionless experience, where the eKYC check takes up to 24 hours to complete. When executed correctly, it has plenty of benefits.

Many SPs, unfortunately, approach digital onboarding the wrong way. They end up creating a telecom customer experience that works against their goals, rather than towards them. Especially when it concerns both eSIM and eKYC.


What is eKYC in telecom and how is it different from traditional identity verification?

Traditional KYC process

Know Your Customer, or KYC is the process of verifying your customers’ identity and address. It requires the customer to provide documentation such as identity and address as proof before availing of your services.

Traditionally, SPs carry out ID and address checks face-to-face. It requires the customer to bring an identity document, such as a driver’s license, national ID, or passport, and, for example, a utility bill as proof of address to one of your stores for validation. It is then checked and scanned, and a printed copy is stored for record-keeping. This bureaucratic, time-consuming, and paper-based process is dull and often troublesome for customers. It’s also not very time- or cost-efficient for SPs.

Times are changing. And the 21st-century digital customer expects a more digitalised and less troublesome experience. And that’s where eKYC comes in.


The Electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) process

Electronic Know Your Customer, or eKYC, is a remote, paperless, and real-time process that reduces the costs and bureaucratic procedures necessary in traditional KYC processes. It enables the successful completion of credential verification for your customers using their smartphones and your self-care app.

The customer will be required to submit an ID document once they sign in and select their plan. The process is quick and easy. Assuming they select a national ID, they will have to take a picture of the front and the back of the card before taking a selfie. Upon completing those three steps, an automatic identity check will be performed to confirm and verify the authenticity of the documents and your customers’ credentials.


Image showing difference between eKYC and KYC journey


The eKYC process is compliant with major international regulations, including GDPR and AML. It is also secure and prevents fraud, such as identity fraud or account takeover. The biometric technology utilised in eKYC recognises your users’ unique characteristics, such as the iris or face. Additionally, it relieves them from the burden of remembering and typing passwords and PINs every time they want to access their account.


Why is eKYC in telecom important?

There are more benefits to implementing eKYC in telecom than just ease of use and process. Digitalisation has become a major component of SPs journey to optimising its CX.

  • Digitalisation of customer onboarding – eKYC allows for the full digitalization of customer onboarding, a very important step to fully digitalizing the customer journey.
  • Frictionless CX for the user – There’s no need for end-users to go to a brick-and-mortar shop to provide the relevant documents and verify their identity. The whole process is completed digitally and can be done from the comfort of their own home.
  • Prevents SIM fraud – In an increasingly digital era, eKYC provides a more secure identity verification process that utilises biometric technology for instantaneous results.
  • A more sustainable KYC – Going digital means less plastic, paper and CO2 emissions, helping to reduce waste and lower your carbon footprint.


Our eKYC feature

Thanks to our strategic partnerships with top eKYC providers, we provide eKYC as part of our eSIM as a Service solution. This enables SPs like yours to provide quick, intuitive, and secure onboarding processes and improve the experience your customers have with your service.

Our solution is compliant with European and international regulations. It aligns with GDPR and AML-AFT in order to accurately verify the identities of customers. And this also ensures that our customer’s data is safeguarded and secure.

It also offers easy integration through APIs which enables a “plug-and-play” solution that can reduce the integration time from months to days.




eKYC in telecom is a crucial step for SPs on their journey to digitalization. More and more businesses are starting to adopt it into their processes, especially neobanks.

However, while eKYC in telecom facilitates speedier onboarding, it’s important not to rush things. A poorly executed eKYC solution can do more harm than good to customer satisfaction and experience. And could result in a high churn rate. With telcos already fighting against consumer preferences, we must make digital customer experiences as seamless as possible, to change perceptions and initiate industry-wide change.

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