Network-based location can locate both smartphones and feature phones without draining the battery. This is important because -- if a device's battery drains regularly through constant location pings -- the person's experience with the app or service will suffer. In addition, if a device's battery runs out, that device naturally cannot be located.
Network-based location works with or without cellular data connectivity, an app download or onboard GPS.
Among the different use cases where network location is preferred for its reliability, three primary applications stand out as especially critical:
* Authentication/fraud prevention: According to Javelin Research's "Identity Fraud Survey Report," 11 million people experience fraud, with identity theft up 12% this year. In general, fraud costs enterprises and customers about 21 hours to resolve a claim.
Using a customer's location to determine whether a transaction is fraudulent creates fewer false positives that can cost a financial institution time, money and customer good will by using a customer's cellphone location to determine if the card is where the customer is.
In cases where the location of the handset helps direct content or advertising, or enables tagging or check-ins, GPS may be effective. In use cases where location is adding an authentication factor to a transaction, location is being confirmed for regulatory compliance, or enabling employee time-tracking, service level or payroll, location must be unspoofable.
Because a device's location coordinates originate from a carrier's network infrastructure, location fixes cannot be spoofed or modified by an end user, providing critical authentication in financial services and mobile gaming use cases. Even devices without GPS (e.g., feature phones) can be located, making network location services a universal location detection technology.
Using a financial institution as an example, here is the process for using network location:
1. Customers opt-in to the program to allow a financial institution to use their location as part of the fraud determination algorithm.
2. When customers use their card, the financial institution checks to see if their cellphone is near the card.
o If the phone is with the card, it's likely to be a good transaction.