Rakuten Mobile Becomes First Japanese Mobile Carrier Service to Introduce eKYC, Allowing Online Identity Verification

Rakuten Mobile, Inc. announced that it will introduce the “AI Kantan Honnin Kakunin” (AI Easy ID Verification) eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) service for online contracts for its mobile carrier service on November 9, 2020.

Through the eKYC service, customers are able to verify their identity with their smartphone by taking a photo of their driver’s license and their face. There are also plans to add an IC chip reader function to accept applications made with My Number Cards as well. Rakuten Mobile is the first mobile network operator (MNO) in Japan to provide an eKYC system for mobile carrier service contracts*1.

For Rakuten Mobile online contracts to date, the identity verification process was completed after customers uploaded the required identification documents in advance and the product was successfully delivered to the address included in the documents, or after the customer displayed the required documents at the time of delivery, without uploading the documents in advance. With the new eKYC service, customers can easily verify their identity and complete their contract online. Furthermore, by using the eKYC service combined with an eSIM, which Rakuten Mobile offers, and eSIM-compatible device when applying, customers can start using mobile services soon after they complete their application*2, without needing to wait to receive their SIM card or product.

The eKYC service will initially be introduced for contracts made through the My Rakuten Mobile app (Android) from November 9. There are plans to bring the eKYC service to iOS devices in time with the launch of the My Rakuten Mobile iOS app on November 30*3, and to expand the service to contracts made through the official Rakuten Mobile website. Going forward, Rakuten Mobile plans to add an IC chip reader function and accept applications made with My Number Cards. The IC chip reader function is intended to reduce upload time and improve security by preventing the use of falsified documents.

Rakuten Mobile’s eKYC service utilizes the “Digital KYC” identity verification service supplied by NEC Corporation, which offers quick and secure identity verification*4.

Rakuten Mobile will continue to develop simple and intuitive options for customer sign-up and provide customers with new experiences. Rakuten Mobile aims to create a system where customers can freely choose their carrier, and provide a mobile carrier service that understands and responds to the needs of its customers.

How to use the AI Kantan Honnin Kakunin (AI Easy ID Verification) eKYC service to authenticate your identity (at time of eKYC launch, using the My Rakuten Mobile app*5)

  1. Apply for a Rakuten Mobile contract through the My Rakuten Mobile app.
  2. Select “Take a picture of your driver’s license” on the identity verification screen.
  3. Following the instructions in the app, take a photo of the front of your driver’s license.
  4. Next, take a photo of your driver’s license while tilting it to verify the thickness of your license.
  5. Take a photo of the back of your driver’s license.
  6. Take a picture of your face in a well-lit place.
  7. Follow the instructions in the app and blink slowly. This completes the identity verification process. If you have an eSIM-compatible device, you will be able to use the service soon after you finish your application.
Screenshots from the My Rakuten Mobile app

*Please see the following webpage for further details:
https://network.mobile.rakuten.co.jp/guide/verify/ekyc/ (Japanese only)

*1 The first time that identity verification has been carried out in Japan via eKYC for mobile phone contracts (as of November 2, 2020). Based on research of 15 MNO and MNVO companies. Research: Stella Associa
*2 For customers that already have an eSIM compatible device and have completed identity verification using the eKYC system when entering into an eSIM contract.
*3 Available on iPhone XS and later models. iPad not supported.
*4 Please see the following website for more information on NEC’s Digital KYC: https://jpn.nec.com/fintech/kyc/index.html (Japanese only)
*5 The My Rakuten Mobile app is only available in Japanese
* The company names, products and service names in this press release are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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