Before Cuy Móvil could bring more affordable mobile phone plans to Peru, it needed to figure out how people could register the SIM cards they purchased from the mobile operator with government. To help combat fraud, federal law requires people to register their SIM cards either using their fingerprints or national identity number.
Selling SIM cards in stores wasn’t ideal. That option would require leasing space, purchasing fingerprint scanners and hiring workers to scan customer’s fingerprints. Given the number of customers Cuy Móvil was aiming for, a physical space with employees was cost prohibitive.
“Having that infrastructure makes scaling complicated,” said Victor Rokkedal Dyrnes, CMO and co-founder of C uy Móvil. “It takes five to 10 minutes per customer to activate a SIM card. When you’re selling thousands of SIM card per month, that’s a large staffing cost.”
The company needed to activate customers’ SIM cards in a way that easily scaled with its business and didn’t require expensive overhead. Initially, finding a product that met this need proved challenging and having a presence in a store seemed like the only option.
Then Cuy Móvil heard about Veridium.
Capture fingerprints without additional hardware
Cuy Móvil learned that its customers could use Veridium’s 4 Fingers TouchlessID to register their SIM cards. This approach would save people a trip to the store to register their SIM card and Cuy Móvil would avoid the overhead associated with brick-and-mortar sales. 4F is a contactless biometric authentication system that uses a smartphone’s rear camera to capture a person’s four fingerprints simultaneously. No additional hardware is required. 4F captures prints that are equal to ones captured using traditional flatbed scanners.
But Cuy Móvil had some concerns about using Veridium. Not all of the company’s customers owned the latest smartphones so Veridium needed to work on a range of phones, including ones that lacked biometric sensors. And the fingerprints images needed to be high quality.
“We were skeptical that Veridium could capture fingerprints that could match against the government database. We were also concerned that the software wouldn’t work with all the smartphones our customers use,” Dyrnes said.
After running some tests, Cuy Móvil found that the quality of the fingerprints captured by Veridium’s technology allowed them to be used with Peru’s biometric database. The mobile operator also discovered that Veridium could turn nearly any smartphone into a fingerprint scanner. As long as the phone had at least a 5-megapixel camera, it could be used with Veridium’s software to take a picture of a person’s fingerprints.
Satisfied customers, substantial savings
With 4F, Cuy Móvil customers can register their SIM cards without visiting a store. After the SIM card is delivered, customers scan a QR code on the card and download the Cuy Móvil mobile app, which includes the 4F contactless biometric authentication system. The customers then authenticate and, if the process is successful, they scan a barcode on the SIM card and their subscription information is downloaded to the card.
Cuy Móvil immediately saved substantial amounts of money by reducing the need to purchase fingerprint scanners, hire employees and find physical locations to sell SIM cards. Not having this overhead let Cuy Móvil make e-commerce its main sales channel.
“The biggest upside for us is that we can scale online. Previously, we thought we needed to hire a sales force and have places where people could buy SIM cards. Now we’re cutting back those channels to the bare minimum and focusing on online sales because of Veridium,” Dyrnes said.
Customers are pleased that they can register and authenticate the card themselves and avoid visiting a store. “They’re amazed that they can just take a picture of their finger and the registration process is complete. Veridium has been a game changer,” Dyrnes said.