User Identity

Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vi will soon verify user identity in renewal for OTP

Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vi are hoping to bring new identity services to counter fraud that occurs through SIM mirroring to violate bank account information and other secure information.

For now, customers are required to enter OTP(one-time-password) generated by the client on the registered mobile number to avail of some services.  OTP is important for making payments and other things. 

Now, Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vi are working on the new initiative that is ‘mobile identity’ and they are likely to offer this service by the end of the first half of 2021.

Executives said customers now have to provide their mobile numbers to an app or site, wait for a four-to-six digit onetime password (OTP), feed in the unique number, and complete the transaction. In the interim, if there’s a delay in getting the OTP, they get timed out, forcing customers to toggle between sites. In some cases, the transaction could even get stalled, with money going out of the account. Some try to copy the OTP and paste it while others memorize it, although there are apps that can pick up the OTP from the SMS automatically.

Telco company executives said that ‘customers now have to provide their mobile numbers to an application or website and then wait for the four to six-digit OTP, and if there’s a delay in getting the OTP, timed out and it confuses the customer. Customers try to copy and paste the OTP, although there are applications that can pick the OTP from the messages on their own. According to telecom executives, depending on regulatory clearances, this feature which is getting piloted currently should be available to all by the first half of 2021.

The company will first ask to identify the operator and authentication. After that, users have to identify themselves with the PIN. Then, end-users have to confirm the authentication via a single or dual channel. In case the authentication process fails, then it will be sent back to DSP.

The ET Telecom report highlights that telecommunications operators possibly would collaborate with companies such as Route Mobile that offer mobile identity services. The ‘Mobile Identity as a Service’ information on Route Mobile’s website offers a “safe universal connection solution,” matching users with mobile phones. It helps users to easily log into websites and apps without having to keep passwords and usernames in mind. And Route Mobile also says that the services are encrypted, secure and without permission, no personal information is exchanged.

Currently, telecommunications operators are using the OTP authentication model. This method is also tedious because after a certain period the verification process can be timed. This process is also available for cyberattacks, in which hackers will steal the OTP before users. This is why telcos intend to introduce a new mobile user identity solution.

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