I've recently come across an interesting new use-case for WebRTC, which I think could be a major driver of adoption - because it has a very clear monetisation model. It may also be a catalyst for growth of video-based contact centres, beyond the Amazon Mayday-style customer support scenario.
I'm referring to the use of video-authentication for web/mobile transaction security. This is also called “Online Legitimation” and is already widely used in Germany, especially for major financial services transactions such as opening of accounts, or setting up loan agreements, which have “know your customer” requirements.
The user is directed to a short two-way video session with a customer-service advisor, allowing verification of the user's identity against a photo on file, or by holding an ID/passport up to the camera. A code is then sent via SMS for two-factor security. (The latter approach has been approved by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority as an alternative to conventional offline legitimation procedures).
This is very different to a normal person-to-person videoconference or "see what I see" application. It is using a video session (not a "call", really) to compare the likeness of two things (as well as conduct other vocal checks through a Q&A process).
At least four providers have already emerged in Germany (email me for names), and a large number of banks and credit-card companies have signed up with one or other of them. One of them has a price-list suggesting prices of between €4-8 per transaction, depending on volumes expected by the client. As well as WebRTC (desktop and embedded in mobile apps), there are sometimes options for Skype, FaceTime, fallback to Flash and so on.
The regulatory approval in Germany has clearly catalysed a sudden market uptake – it will be interesting to see if this is replicated elsewhere. This has the hint of a “killer app” for video contact centres, especially in finance but potentially also for other sectors such as online casino sign-ups, contract-witnessing, notarisation or other applications where visual ID approval is needed.
The precise number of relevant transactions requiring "hard" identity proof is a little hard to estimate - but a rough number of a billion annually does not seem unreasonable as a potential addressable market. There is a good argument for WebRTC solution providers to consider lobbying finance regulators or other bodies, to get them to clearly accept video-based "know your customer" processes.
Disruptive Analysis is about to publish an update for its WebRTC Market Analysis & Forecasts report, including analysis of various new & emerging use-cases such as this. Please get in touch to receive details & pricing (or to arrange a private workshop or project on WebRTC) information AT disruptive-analysis DOT com