Group QR code streamlines eSIM for travel adoption

The promise of a fully digital onboarding journey

Read time: 4 minutes

In the past, when mobile users traveled abroad, they needed to either subscribe to an international travel plan ahead of time, find their way to a local mobile operator boutique without any connection, or play the often-risky game of toggling between roaming and public Wi-Fi. In some cases, they were surprised with a roaming charge on their monthly bill; in other cases, they were without connectivity at a critical moment. But this is starting to change.

The Group eSIM QR code ౼ a unique QR code used to onboard multiple subscribers ౼ will grant access to seamless connectivity for people on-the-go and further advance eSIM for travel use cases.

Effortless digital onboarding with the Group eSIM QR code

As eSIM technology proliferates at an astounding rate, with 6.9 billion eSIM smartphone connections projected by 20301, mastering smooth eSIM activation is a crucial part of mobile operators’ digital transformation. With a fully digital onboarding process, users can effortlessly connect once they reach their final destination.

Once in a new country, users with an eSIM-enabled device can scan a Group eSIM QR code displayed by a local carrier, follow a few easy steps to download an eSIM profile on their device and verify their identity. Where local regulations allow, even this highly sensitive eKYC (Know Your Customer) part of the process is fully digital and secure – meaning a user can scan their identity document, verify, and confirm their ID information and conduct a selfie liveness check. All this is done according to rigorous ID verification and authentication standards, ensuring that mobile operators can trust in a user’s claimed identity.

The Group eSIM QR code method allows mobile operators to easily attract customers on the move. It requires minimum implementation effort from mobile operators, since it removes the need to develop a mobile application. For users, it also simplifies their connectivity journey by eliminating the additional step of downloading an application, which can deter them altogether from eSIM subscription enrollment.

A streamlined eSIM for travel experience

One surefire way to attract today’s highly connected, discerning traveler to eSIM connectivity is with the Group eSIM QR code approach. For starters, eSIM is becoming increasingly widespread in most top-of-the-line smartphones ౼ with iPhone 14 models in the US being the first smartphones running exclusively on eSIM technology. Meanwhile, many mid-range phones are progressively shifting over as well.

This approach will also be key in terms of guaranteeing secure connectivity for business travelers—both when tethering laptops to a smartphone’s connection as well as for eSIM-equipped laptops. Currently, at least 343 mobile operators1 offer eSIM services for smartphones and some are even turning towards an eSIM-first strategy, which means prioritizing eSIM activation instead of providing a physical SIM card to users with hybrid smartphones allowing both options.

Increased eSIM for travel revenue streams through new partnerships

In addition to simplifying eSIM activation for occasional or frequent travelers, Group eSIM QR codes create endless opportunities for mobile operators to develop new revenue streams through marketing partnerships with airlines, event venues or big international trade shows, to name a few. For example, a mobile operator could display a Group eSIM QR code on posters at the airport, a spectator’s ticket for the Olympic Games or an attendee’s badge at CES Las Vegas.

This not only increases visibility and gains new customers, but this particular use of the Group eSIM QR Code applied to the eSIM for travel journey allows operators to create an infinite number of Group QR codes for various campaigns or partners. With this solution in place, they can track the performance of each acquisition campaign and adjust their marketing spend accordingly to increase eSIM activation.

With these developments on the horizon, embracing the eSIM for travel opportunities created by a fully digital onboarding journey will certainly reap benefits for mobile users and providers alike.

1 GSMA Intelligence, December 2022

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