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5 min read

Entity Identity Management™: KYC for Service Providers

A Discussion with Seth Ray, VP of Operations at Bandwidth, Inc.
Written by
Sarah Blantz, Marketing Coordinator
Published on
June 30, 2023

Numeracle had the pleasure of hosting a webinar at the SIP Forum 2023 KYC Summit featuring an esteemed panel of industry experts. Our last article, Bringing Purpose to STIR/SHAKEN Through Identity With KYC – A Recap, includes a complete overview and playback of our session. 

Seth Ray, VP of Business Operations at Bandwidth, Inc., was among the esteemed panelists. He shared his recommendations on how using an Entity Identity Management (EIM) platform could simplify the deployment of a Know Your Customer (KYC) process for an organization large or small. As there are many unique practicalities and benefits to deploying an EIM platform to manage KYC on your communications network, we’re diving even deeper to share real-world recommendations and use cases for other service providers looking to improve their processes and policy administration.

Navigating the Uncertainty of KYC Standards

The standards for KYC in telecom have been a subject of ambiguity and need for clarity. While KYC regulations aim to prevent fraud and ensure customer identification, no consistent global framework governs telecom KYC requirements. The true issue, however, lies not in the vagueness of KYC standards but in the execution. That is, even with Numeracle’s Model Standards for KYC available to the public, businesses are failing to implement and adhere to a solution.

At Bandwidth, having an in-house team dedicated to a solid KYC process is paramount.

“We're now talking about how you operationalize and how you put into effect a team that can be both customer friendly, driving revenue that any company would want, but also have a very strong backbone to stick to the "no's," the things we cannot go without having in order to do business. We can't go without having basic business information, knowing what the end-user is doing, whether they should own these phone numbers, what they're doing with these phone numbers, or what they're doing with these calling features. I think it’s unclear in some ways how you operationalize it. I think that we're taking steps toward that.” 
— Seth Ray, VP of Business Operations, Bandwidth, Inc.

As a way to simplify and optimize the Know Your Customer process, deploying an EIM platform is a practical and efficient tool to make it easier to stay ahead of compliance and industry standards and enhance the customer experience. What, precisely, can an EIM platform do for you regarding KYC?

Enhance Risk Assessment

As a service provider, qualifying prospective customers by asking relevant questions that provide insights into their intentions and needs is essential. Conducting comprehensive business research enables the identification of suspicious or desperate customers who may engage in fraudulent activities. 

“New customers coming inbound to Bandwidth, whether through a marketing lead or an inbound lead, we've got Know Your Customer guidance right there at the front door. So, if you think about an inbound lead who's very desperate to get phone numbers or very desperate to get turned up very quickly, those are immediate red flags.”
Seth Ray, VP of Business Operations, Bandwidth, Inc.

Integrating with an EIM platform enables service providers to streamline their risk assessment process by centralizing customer data and automating identity verification procedures. With an EIM platform, service providers can efficiently collect, verify, and authenticate customer information, ensuring accurate risk evaluation before onboarding a new customer. 

Streamline the Onboarding Process

During the customers’ onboarding phase, service providers should prioritize maintaining frequent communication with customers to build strong and collaborative relationships. Deploying an Entity Identity Management platform like Numeracle’s simplifies and accelerates the onboarding process by leveraging the platform's capabilities to capture and store customer data securely, perform on-demand identity presentation checks, and conduct comprehensive due diligence. This reduces manual paperwork and eliminates the need for redundant documentation.

Identify and Address Problematic Customers 

Efficient resource allocation and the maintenance of service quality are paramount for service providers. Identifying problematic customers who may drain resources or engage in fraudulent behavior is crucial to achieving these goals. By monitoring customer performance metrics and analyzing patterns through an EIM platform, service providers can identify customers requiring additional attention or engaging in non-compliant activities. 

“We want to have a very healthy and frequent touchpoint with you. This is where automation comes in, which is awesome because you don't have to ask for a ten-person team to do those reviews,” says Ray of Bandwidth. Once identified, service providers can take prompt action to address these issues. This can involve providing additional support or initiating discussions with the customer to rectify their behavior. 

Simplify Offboarding

Service providers must sometimes terminate relationships with non-compliant or fraudulent customers to uphold compliance standards. A well-defined offboarding process is essential in these situations. By centralizing customer data within an EIM platform, providers can easily access and manage relevant information required for the termination process. This includes contract details, compliance records, and communication history.

“You must have a really well-baked offboarding process for this to work. You have to be nailing it when it comes to automation and turning down capacity, sending customers the right notification so that there is a good paper trail for when you tell them why you're turning them off – weekends, nights – many times, these things have to happen like that. We get a key piece of information, and there's no escalating or decision-making. We are turning this customer off immediately. Before we had a well-baked off-boarding process, this got really clunky, and honestly, it made it harder for the business to want to act quickly because you have to just really get that kind of ship in motion to offboard a customer.”
Seth Ray, VP of Business Operations, Bandwidth, Inc.

Make the Better Choice for Your Business

Deploying an EIM platform as a KYC tool offers significant advantages for service providers. By enhancing risk assessment, streamlining the onboarding and offboarding processes, enhancing compliance management, and ensuring data security and privacy, providers can effectively mitigate risks, improve operational efficiency, and deliver a seamless customer experience. As providers continue to prioritize security and regulatory compliance, implementing an EIM platform as a KYC tool becomes an essential step toward achieving these goals.

“You have to think of it from the standpoint of giving your good customers the capacity, the attention, and that healthy network that they're paying for because what ends up happening is these bad customers take support, resources,  and capacity.”
Seth Ray, VP of Business Operations, Bandwidth, Inc.

Where to Start

We know it can be difficult and time-consuming to search for the right KYC or EIM solution provider to partner with. We’re always happy to help answer any questions and provide clarity into the many possibilities, limitations, and success stories of currently available solutions so you can feel confident in choosing the right strategy for your business. 

For more information about Numeracle’s KYC tools and product capabilities, contact us. Or to get started with understanding the basic fundamentals of deploying, establishing, and performing KYC functions, download our guide

About Seth Ray, VP of Business Operations at Bandwidth, Inc.

Seth is a seasoned, mission-oriented leader who builds and leads high-performing teams and drives operational excellence to support Bandwidth’s cloud communications business across billing, Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, contract operations, fraud mitigation, and international compliance. As Vice President of Business Operations, Seth’s mission is to continuously improve the customer experience at Bandwidth and elevate the company’s industry-leading reputation for excellence in customer responsiveness.

During his career at Bandwidth, Seth has transformed the company’s billing systems to streamline processes, reduce friction and improve efficiency for both customers and internal clients. He championed an integrated approach to KYC by bringing all customer review and onboarding elements into a centralized management and knowledge-sharing system. Seth is passionate about making KYC an everyday part of the marketing, sales, and operations experience and helping organizations see the value in dedicating both tooling and resources toward eliminating any fraudulent activity in the Communications Platform as a Service ecosystem. His teams are known for balancing excellence in internal business practices with “effortless” customer-facing processes.

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