Includes case studies on Tanzania and Cote d’Ivoire:
In Tanzania, formal identity products and identity-linked services have yet to become a part of day-to-day life, as low-income consumers typically rely more on informal social networks for their identification needs. As such, triggers for formal identity verification are few and far between, and ‘ward letters’ serve as sufficient proof-of-identity in most situations. Although this meant that access to services seemed simple and easy from a user perspective, not using formal ID appeared to impact negatively on service delivery, therefore creating a latent need. People also took pride in ‘being Tanzanian’, and appreciated identity solutions that demonstrated this. There is an opportunity for MNOs to deliver digital identity solutions that can meet the latent need for better service delivery and the user desire for identity solutions that demonstrate ‘being Tanzanian’. MNOs are well placed to do this due to the combination of high levels of trust placed in MNOs and how highly end-users value their mobile phones.
Cote d’Ivoire summary:
Proving who you are with formal ID is an expected and accepted part of daily life in Côte d’Ivoire. However, the identity system is highly fragmented and lacks robustness – to gain access to most services, it didn’t particularly matter ‘what’ our participants showed to prove who they were, as long as it was some kind of formal ID. As a result, people were used to manipulating the identity system to their advantage and found it relatively easy to access the services they wanted. Conversely, registering for the most ‘legitimate’ forms of ID could be challenging for our participants, due to financial and time-related barriers. Mobile-enabled digital identity solutions were broadly welcomed and expected as ‘the future’ in this environment. However, the benefits would need to be carefully communicated during rollout to mitigate potential resistance once people become aware that they can no longer manipulate the system for their own gain.