3 local telcos develop e-identity for online services

Singtel, M1 and Starhub hope to launch the authentication service as early as the second half of next year.
Singtel, M1 and Starhub hope to launch the authentication service as early as the second half of next year.PHOTO: SINGTEL, ST FILE, BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Consumers can do away with remembering passwords when accessing online services on their mobile phones, thanks to a new initiative to develop an e-identity tied to one's SIM card and mobile number.

Dubbed Mobile Connect, the three local telcos Singtel, StarHub and M1 look to launch the authentication service as early as the second half of next year (2017).

It can be used to access a host of online services including one's telco account and for online shopping from participating merchants. Consumers will no longer need to manage multiple usernames and passwords for every online account.

Through interactive prompts on the mobile phone, users will be able to easily confirm their identity by entering their mobile number. They may also be required to enter a one-time password for greater levels of authentication if participating merchants require it.

The Mobile Connect authentication service will be managed by the telcos. No information will be made available to online service providers without users' permission.

Mobile Connect is developed by the GSMA - which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide - and is currently available in 22 countries.