Securing the ride-sharing and food delivery journey for customers and drivers with RCS Business Messaging and authentication

Apps and mobile messaging have taken center stage in our daily lives and are changing the way we commute and enjoy our meals. However, safety concerns have become more common than ever, making the need for effective security solutions more crucial. Discover how innovative security measures address and overcome these safety concerns. 

Content Marketing Expert

Marthinus Jansen Van Vuuren

Content Marketing Expert

The global ridesharing and food delivery industries have taken the world by storm, providing convenience, accessibility, and efficiency like never before. The growth in these industries shows no signs of slowing down. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global ridesharing market is set to continue expanding at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.3%, from $84.3 billion in 2021 to a staggering $242.74 billion in 2028.  

Food delivery is anticipated to follow suit, with an anticipated CAGR of 9.8% between 2022 and 2032, propelling it from $38.2 billion to $97.3 billion in 2032, as projected by Future Market Insights.  

The rise in business growth comes with safety challenges

With the rapid growth in these industries, ease and accessibility have taken center stage in our lives. According to a recently released Oliver Wyman report, car-sharing will make up to 7% of all urban transport journeys globally by 2030 (up from 3% today), taking the total market size to $401bn. However, operators in the sector must ensure that they adequately mitigate potential safety challenges towards riders and drivers. Driver and customer security are paramount to mobility industries.

In this blog, we explore solutions to safeguard the interests of drivers and customers alike and delve into how authentication via rich media channels such as RCS Business Messaging make these industries safer for everyone involved.

Authentication: The cornerstone of driver and customer security 

Ensuring the safety of both drivers and customers begins right at the moment of registration.  

The starting point in ensuring the safety of drivers and customers lies in authentication – a process dedicated to verifying identity and trustworthiness. Robust authentication measures, where layers of security are added, can significantly enhance the overall reliability of ride-sharing and food delivery businesses.

Some of these methods include: 

1. Empowering security with two-factor authentication  

Faster digital solutions like two-factor authentication (2FA) provide a powerful shield against threats like smishing, phishing, and SIM swapping. It’s a security process wherein a user must provide two authentication factors to prove their identity before accessing their account or initiating a transaction.  

By adding an extra layer of security, 2FA ensures that even if criminals manage to lay their hands on your device or password, they would still need a time-sensitive code from a different channel to gain access to your account or transact from it. 

For online transactions, 2FA typically includes a one-time pin (OTP) code sent to the user’s preferred channel, whether it be RCS, SMS, WhatsApp, email, or another secure channel. Once the user receives the OTP, they can securely access their account information and safeguard their online transactions. 

2FA ride sharing - pick a channel
2FA ride sharing - get your OTP
2FA ride sharing - input OTP

Adding an omnichannel layer to authentication with RCS Business Messaging

Leading ride-sharing company Bolt has always prioritized security and innovation for both drivers and customers. They were exploring 2FA delivery options via rich media channels that could offer a frictionless, branded experience, and hence chose RCS Business Messaging, with SMS as a backup channel for a smooth omnichannel solution.

Our partnership with Google and MNOs (Telefonica, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom) in Germany enabled Bolt to integrate RCS Business Messaging into their channel mix. Bolt now provides their drivers and customers an engaging authentication experience, with the benefit of end-to-end encryption during: 

  • Onboarding: When a new driver or customer signs up for Bolt’s services, an OTP can be sent via RCS Business Messaging to verify their phone number. This adds a layer of security compared to traditional SMS and allows for richer content like a Bolt logo or a short welcome message.
  • Password reset: If a driver forgets their password, they can initiate a reset process. An OTP can then be securely delivered via RCS Business Messaging to their phone for verification before allowing them to choose a new password.
  • Registration updates: For actions requiring additional security, like linking a new payment method, Bolt can send an OTP through RCS Business Messaging to confirm the user’s identity before finalizing the change.

Since RCS is a native telco channel, it doesn’t require any additional app downloaded, and Android users can seamlessly move between the message and Bolt’s app.

Talking about the solution André Ludgero said:

As a transformative leader in the ride-hailing industry, Bolt has always provided driver and customer experiences that are innovative and secure. Authenticating drivers and customers in a seamless manner is crucial to maintaining brand trust, which is why we decided to give our drivers and customers an omnichannel authentication experience with RCS Business Messaging and SMS as a backup channel for one-time passwords (OTP). Sending OTPs over RCS Business Messages with Infobip Authenticate adds an extra layer of security due to the verified profile and ability to add our logo. The omnichannel approach guarantees OTP delivery, fosters trust and brand love with every login.

André Ludgero

Product Manager, Bolt

On top of the rich user experience, end-to-end encryption and security features on RCS Business Messages prevent misuse and fraudulent communication, and widespread telco connectivity ensures smooth delivery.

Top tip: 

Did you know you can take your 2FA a step further with an authentication solution that identifies the most suitable channel for each one-time-password delivery? Best of all is it has an always-on failover capability in the event of non-delivery. 

2. Biometric authentication and background checks 

One of the most effective yet friction-laden ways to verify users – especially drivers – is to incorporate background checks and biometric capturing. Many smartphones have biometric capturing capabilities, from facial recognition to fingerprint or retina scans, which can be effective. However, if criminals access a victim’s device, they may find ways to override these measures. Or even worse, they can access apps if they manage to snatch a device while unlocked and keeping it unlocked. Nevertheless, passing these checks mitigates many security threats at the outset and promotes confidence in the identities of both drivers and customers. 

3. Seamless security with silent mobile verification 

Silent mobile verification distinguishes genuine users from potentially fraudulent ones based on their locations and numbers registered on their mobile networks. It requires no input from the user, resulting in secure verification that eliminates friction during service sign-up and login. 

For example, in the event of location spoofing or fraudulent rides, transactions can fail due to the location of the delivery or pick-up point not corresponding with the location of the device connected to the mobile network. The best part? The user authentication process takes less than 5 seconds, offering both security and convenience that contributes to a frictionless customer journey.  

Silent Mobile Verification is also a proactive measure in identifying and preventing SIM swap fraud

Silent mobile verification for sim swapping

Top tip: 
Mobile identity leverages mobile operators’ subscriber data, and verifies and authenticates mobile users seamlessly through their mobile numbers, eliminating the need for additional steps. 

Paving the way for a safer tomorrow 

Ensuring and maintaining the safety and security of drivers and customers is paramount to the continued success of the ridesharing and food delivery industries. In the end, safety isn’t just a feature; it’s a commitment and at the core of everything we do at Infobip. 

By adopting effective security solutions that protects and verifies customer and driver identities, companies can show they really value safety on any app or chat platform. Moreso, an effective solution will ensure the right measures are in place through the entire customer and driver journey. In today’s digital world, where we do so much online, this commitment to protecting important information builds trust and makes the ridesharing and food delivery scene safer for everyone involved.

Find out how Infobip can enhance the security measures in your ridesharing or food delivery business. 

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Mar 11th, 2024
6 min read
Content Marketing Expert

Marthinus Jansen Van Vuuren

Content Marketing Expert