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Identity & Authentication at MWC 2017

A win for Orange & digital identity at MWC 2017

At Mobile World Congress 2017, Orange and partner Danal Inc. accepted the GSMA’s Mobile Connect Award for Authentication & Identity for their collaboration on Orange Check & Go products, developed within the Enablers Marketing team. Director of Enablers Marketing Frédéric Reboulleau, and Serge Llorente, Mobile Connect Project Director, discuss the event and emerging digital identity trends.

A win for securing digital identity

Check & Go combines a range of Orange Identity APIs to facilitate end users’ digital lives and mitigate identity fraud. In addition, it improves service providers’ transformation rate. The solution is empowered with Mobile Connect authentication for a unique blend of security and convenience.

This means Orange API partners can securely and seamlessly create online accounts for their users. A user can be identified and validated through ID, network, geolocation and SIM card details before a transaction is approved. “The two major aspects of digital identity are identification—know-your-customer through identity attributes—and authentication,” Frédéric says. “Check & Go is the first interoperable solution to combine these two elements.”

At MWC, held in Barcelona from February 27 to March 2, Frédéric demonstrated how Check & Go APIs can combine with Mobile Connect authentication to make the creation of a PayPal account quick, easy, and safe. This enables a seamless process between different operators while securing privacy consent from the user. “It’s a great resource for business partners like banks and e-payment providers,” Frédéric says.

Serge adds: “This is a good example of how Mobile Connect can be used in a more services-oriented role. Authentication, in a sense, can be the first step supporting a more complete identity solution like Check & Go.”

Partners for the digital boom

Partnerships are a big driver for these solutions. US-based Danal Inc., the award’s joint recipient, is an aggregator specializing in user attributes. “Danal is the kind of partner that is essential to offer the substantive identification services needed in today’s market,” Frédéric adds. “That is to say, solutions that combine authentication and user attributes.”

Such solutions will be able to meet fast-growing demand in two key areas. One is B2B applications, banking and payment especially. The other is the public sector push for digital identities, like the EU eIDAS directive.

As industry players scramble to meet these needs, the most relevant solutions will be those tackling mobility, identity and security simultaneously. Telcos are best placed to do so, as they have the combined network, data and customer expertise. Orange has especially made strong commitments to its customers to earn their trust where privacy and security are concerned.

Driving a secure mobile identity ecosystem

Check & Go fits into this context. While the award recognizes the value of this specific solution, Orange has been working on the broader view for some time. “We’ve been driving this digital identity ecosystem,” Frédéric says. “For instance, we’re pushing for Danal to do business in Europe, and we’re advocating API-based solutions to MNOs and other business sectors.”

The result is a growing network of partners, featuring aggregators and integrators like Danal Inc., Docomo or Gemalto affiliate Netsize. Other major security players include Morpho, G&D and Oberthur, whose presence alongside Orange at MWC was a strong sign. Orange is approaching both the private and public sectors, and Frédéric and Serge both saw genuine interest in their demos from many players, especially fintechs.

“Security is a defining criterion,” Serge says. “The case for SIM storage, for instance, is getting stronger as people make mobile phones the central devices in their lives. This is how Mobile Connect guarantees user anonymity.”

Both of them encourage developers to get involved. “With our partners, we’ve put together a development model that is an invitation to step inside a fully formed ecosystem,” Frédéric says. “Through Orange Developer and/or aggregators, you enter a contractual relationship with an entire group of partners. By starting from our APIs—which are easy to implement and GSMA-compatible—developers can benefit from the most accomplished solutions on the market.”

Concluding on another promising prospect, Serge and Frédéric also note that Mobile Connect and Check & Go are valuable tools for anticipating new digital identity use cases, such as access to public services.

Find out more about our range of Identity & Authentication APIs