Mobile Connect to hit three billion users by mid 2016


Capability to be used to authenticate users and spot fraudulent activity is one of the key reasons for its success

Mobile World Congress: The GSMA has announced that the GSMA Mobile Connect mobile-based authentication solution is now available to two billion consumers globally, and a spokesperson from the organisation has predicted it will hit three billion users within the next three months.

David Pollington, senior director of technology at the GSMA, told Smart Chimps: “We now have two billion users worldwide and in my opinion in two to three months’ time it will be three billion.” He added that, “we have seen massive interest [in Mobile Connect]  here at the show”.

Mobile Connect’s capability to be used to authenticate users and spot fraudulent activity is one of the key reasons for its success, noted Pollington. He said: “There are lots of fraud indicators so banks and payment schemes, such as Mastercard and Visa, can feel more warm and cosy about people shopping from mobile devices.”

On the later, Pollington said that mobile operators help provide more information on who the user of a particular mobile device is, as they know the user, helping to take much of the risk out of the mobile online shopping process for payment firms.

Since the solution was introduced at Mobile World Congress 2014, 34 mobile network operators have launched the service in 21 countries, with plans for additional launches and trials to follow in 2016 and beyond.

Operators offering services based on Mobile Connect include América Móvil, Axiata Group (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka), China Mobile, China Mobile Pakistan (Zong), China Telecom, China Unicom, DNA, Elisa, Globe Telecom, Indosat Ooredoo, Mobilink, Mobitel, Orange (Egypt, France, Morocco, Spain), Sunrise, Swisscom (Switzerland), Telefónica Group (Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Spain), Telenor Group (Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand), TeliaSonera (Finland), Telkomsel, Telstra, TIM and Turkcell (Turkey).

Mobile Connect enables customers to create and manage a digital universal identity via a single log-in solution. The service securely authenticates users, enabling them to digitally confirm their identity and their credentials and grant safe online access to mobile and digital services such as e-commerce, banking, health and digital entertainment, and e-government, via their mobile phones.

The GSMA is working closely with operators globally to further extend the adoption of Mobile Connect; operators committed to deliver the service this year include Aircel, AIS Thailand, Bharti Airtel (India), Etisalat (Pakistan, United Arab Emirates), Idea Cellular, MTN, Ooredoo (Algeria, Myanmar), Orange (Jordan, Poland), SMART Axiata – Cambodia, Smart Communications, Tata Teleservices, Telefónica Group (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay), Telenor (India), T-Mobile Poland and Vodafone (India, Spain).

Mobile Connect has also been trialled in two EU Member States, Finland and Spain, to establish proof-of-concept for cross-border authentication of e-government services and online interactions between businesses, citizens and public authorities.

While initially focused on secure and convenient log-in to digital services, Mobile Connect is evolving to deliver secure authorisation of digital transactions and to add context and attributes about the user and the transaction to increase convenience, trust and security for users and online service providers, while respecting users’ privacy. This is currently being trialled in the UK by O2 and Vodafone.


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