SA firm gets West African mobile SIM activation down to 90 sec

West African mobile network operators (MNOs) will be able to offer clients 90 second SIM card activations after Axon Wireless announced the imminent rollout of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enhancement to its Face2Face 4.X Identity Management Platform.

SA firm Axon is targeting West African MNOs with its new machine learning application that eliminates the need for human beings to manually approve new client SIM card activations. “West Africa is our key market outside of South Africa because MNOs there are willing to think outside the box and implement technology-rich solutions to ensure continued profitability well into the future,” said Justin Lipshitz, CEO of Axon Wireless.

“West Africa is also importance to us because many Regulators there require two-step mobile user validation that we can help make much more efficient,” adds Mr Lipshitz.

He further explains that MNOs in Africa and around the world typically employ legions of contact centre staff to receive incoming SIM card activation applications. Once identity documents and specific client information has been captured in the field in terms of national KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements, it is transmitted to MNO call centres. Employees there must then double-check that everything is above board, accurate and correct before activating client SIM cards for use in their mobile devices.

Typically, MNO contact centre employees will check that photos are clear and faces match identity document details, amongst other things, before activating a SIM card. When queues build up, activations can take hours. “With declining ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), network operators need prospective clients up and running and contributing to voice and data revenues as quickly as possible. AI eliminates both the potential for human error and the humans themselves in the SIM card activation ecosystem.

“With this latest enhancement to our Face2Face platform that has successfully completed a soft launch, Axon is able to boost MNO operational efficiencies to help them stay lean and agile in the current tight international business climate,” says Mr Lipshitz. Swiss financial services company UBS, for example, is on record as saying last month that globally ‘things will get worse before they get better’.

Axon is a leader in the application of machine learning technology to the African mobile sector. For example, the company earlier this year launched Africa’s first ‘tap and go’ system for mobile SIM card registration. Mobile users in Ivory Coast, for example, are able to comply with KYC requirements by simply placing their national identity cards on a mobile phone screen and letting the agent’s pre-loaded Axon software do the rest.

By instantly reading and recording citizens’ identity information, SIMs are registered in an astonishing 45 seconds. Now, the SIM card activation process that follows can also be completed in a similarly speedy fashion.

Axon Wireless has enrolled over 200 million people globally using its customer registration technology and handheld devices since commercial launch. Axon’s Face2Face 4.X Identity Management Platform provides mobile and retail customer biometric registration solutions that deliver mobility, regulatory compliance, speed and simplicity.

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