Security is essential in today's digital age, especially as we rely more and more on technology. I am going to give you closer look at how mobile operators are using their infrastructure to combat identity fraud and create secure interactions between enterprise and their customers. Mobile operators are deploying services that power robust authentication systems to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and its services. These authentication services are utilized to protect against malicious attempts to access personal data and verify the user's identity. By combining these advanced security measures, mobile operators can help to ensure a secure and reliable digital future. I believe technological innovation is key to protecting our online transactions and must be taken seriously in order for us to move towards a safer digital world.

Protecting people’s identity is crucial as a consumer in an increasingly digital world. With an aggressive data offering to consumers the migration to online is heavily driven through mobile devices. With e-commerce markets projected to reach $200bn by 2026, I can expect to make more purchases online than ever before. This is excellent news for me as a consumer, as it opens access to new products and services, but it also brings with it the challenges of identity fraud.

Identity fraud can come in many shapes and sizes and can have a detrimental impact on both consumers and brands. For example, in 2017, German consumers had their banking login OTP codes stolen from Telefonica's network allowing the fraudsters unauthorised access to their bank accounts. Additionally, with consumers being behind screens, impersonation is easy if brands don't take the necessary measures to verify the accuracy or possession of the data being presented to them. Furthermore, the recent Twitter saga has highlighted excessive costs apps bear due to bot signups.

Understandably, brands want to make their user journey as frictionless as possible. Why do I buy so much from Amazon?—because it is just one click away. However, traditionally, security and user experience have not been able to complement each other. In 2009, Casey Henry highlighted that removing Google Captcha increased the conversion rate by 3.2%, illustrating how much security solutions have impacted brands.

Fortunately, there are some solutions that check both boxes. For consumers trying to transfer money to a new payee, the four Mobile Network Operators in the UK are enabling banks to be able to check if a sim swap (transferring a phone number from one sim card to another) has occurred. As a result, sim swap fraud has been significantly reduced while causing no inconvenience to users who are not at risk.

Mobile Network Operators can enable solutions for more than SIM Swap fraud. Mobile Network Operators need to find other answers for authentication token delivery to ensure their customers' security. As a result of this, staying up-to-date with the latest technology and solutions is essential.

As a user, it is exciting to hear that this technology that mobile operators have used for years is going to be deployed more widely.This technology is beneficial because it is secure and verifies the ownership of the associated device to the phone number used to sign up something that the traditional SMS OTP method does not verify. Plus, it's much more convenient than SMS. All I have to do is enter my phone number, click a button, and wait two seconds, and I'm done. No more waiting for an OTP via an SMS and going back and forth between messaging and the app. This new technology is a game-changer and I'm glad it's finally being adopted.

Wouldn't you think it was too good to be true? You might wonder why it is not widely used. Since you showed them your ID when purchasing a SIM card, your Mobile Operator knows who you are. The good news is for Indian brands and consumers it will be coming in 2023.

I am excited that the technology for verifying sim card ownership and phone numbers is becoming available in India. Jio is launching  the service as we speak, and Vodafone is live. Airtel is working on its solution in the lab, and BSNL has yet to announce a timeline. Mobile Operators and Communications Platforms are the custodians of consumer data and will play a key role in protecting us from fraud in the digital tomorrow. The introduction of this technology is a significant development for consumers in India. With this service, I can rest assured that my data is safe and secure and that if I fall victim to things like sim-swap fraud there are now additional mechanisms in place to prevent the bad actors from using my data to steal from me.

Also Read - Role of Robust Surveillance Systems in Shaping Smart Cities

About Author

David Vigar is the Executive Vice President of digital Identity Business. He is leading the growth of the Digital Identity product suite across key for Route Mobile.

David is a seasoned professional with over 18+ years of work experience, managing key leadership portfolios across the voice, messaging, and identity sectors globally along the length of the value chain: within MNOs (Tele2, KPN); wholesale and CPaaS providers (iBasis and Nexmo) and enterprise (Google).

In his last stint with Twilio, he was responsible for the geographic expansion of their Mobile Identity product suite, including Silent Network Auth, Sim Swap, Number Intelligence, and KYC. David holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with legal studies from Exeter University in the UK.

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