Today, users have an unprecedented level of access to information and services, many of which involve creating accounts relying on usernames and passwords. Orange Mobile Connect aims to provide a more reliable authentication method that doesn’t depend on users’ memory and still keeps them engaged and secured.
How Mobile Connect works
The Mobile Connect GSMA standard verifies users’ identity with the device they always have on-hand, mobile phones. It aims to compete with OTT services like Facebook Connect or Google Sign-In for secure online authentication. In doing so, it has the competitive advantage of offering increased privacy and transparency (in addition to security) to its users as their information is not shared without their consent.
The authentication service is based on the OpenID Connect / OAuth2 standards. Unlike other authentication solutions that are often bundled with applications and services, it involves the SIM card as the trusted component authenticating the user.
A pop-up message can prompt users to verify the connection via push notification or via SMS. For extra security, providers can also request that users input their PIN code. The PIN code is set by the users themselves and encrypted on their SIM, meaning it is never communicated to a third party.
Strong authentication expanding around the world
Mobile Connect is currently available to nearly two billion consumers around the world. The GSMA estimates that the value of the global Mobile Connect direct market for Authentication & Attribute services will reach $31.5 billion by 2020. As of mid-2018, Orange has launched dedicated APIs in Spain, France, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan, with other countries soon to follow. You may find the list of countries and the solution’s availability on the GSMA website.
This strong authentication method can also be included into more comprehensive identity solutions, such as Mobile Connect et moi (Mobile Connect & me), an identity provider mechanism available through France Connect. Mobile Connect et moi is the fourth identity provider to join France Connect, but the first of its kind classified as “substantial”.
It is currently only available to Orange customers in France but will cover all providers in the future, enabling authentication for sensitive operations thanks to its strong level of security. Since launching in November 2017, 20,000 French users have signed up for the service.