It was announced in November last year that the three major Singapore telcos – namely Singtel, Starhub and M1 – will be partnering up to launch Mobile Connect, a new identity-authentication platform, to make multiple passwords for multiple sites a thing of the past.
Fast forward five months, it was reported today (April 28) that companies such as EZ-Link, Fox Networks Group, HungryGoWhere, NETS, Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH), Singtel Dash, and WTS Travel, will be backing up this initiative and accepting the digital log-ins.
This means that Singapore mobile users can soon conveniently log in to websites and apps by these companies without having to register or remember their login details.
They can simply and securely log in using their mobile numbers to top up stored value, stream video content, read news, buy travel services and make mobile payments.
Both the mobile operator and service provider would need to adopt the OpenID Connect standard, on which Mobile Connect operates and uses to exchange an authentication token between the two parties.
This solution will also benefit online service providers as they are able to offer simpler sign-ups, reduce customer frustration from abandoned transactions due to authentication issues, as well as increase the likelihood of repeat business.
“The enhanced security and convenience will translate into higher online transactions for our eNETS merchants. For NETS, this is one step ahead in fostering greater seamless transactions for online and mobile payments in the digital world we are living in,” said Alvin Seck, Deputy Head of Business Services, NETS.
Mobile Connect-supported online services are expected to be available later this year. This will potentially include telecommunications, banking, e-commerce, entertainment, government, travel services, and apps.
The telcos also emphasised that they will be working to attract more sites to sign onto the platform, which will lead to increased consumer convenience.
But Is It Safe And Secure?
In a joint media statement, the three telcos claim that this mobile authentication solution offers greater online security and privacy, on top of improved user experience.
To protect customers’ privacy, a unique personal code will secure access to services that require greater levels of security. Strictly no information will be made available to service providers without their permission.
But think about it: while this authentication solution makes it harder for hackers to send fraudulent messages or authentication prompts to users , losing one’s mobile phone will prove to be even more risky now.
As such, mobile users still can’t afford to be complacent and should take the precaution of implementing (or increasing) the security measures on their phones.
“As Singapore pushes ahead to become a Smart Nation, we are jointly developing a digital identity solution for businesses and consumers to enjoy greater convenience and security in digital transactions. We believe the traditional norms of managing multiple usernames and passwords will soon become history,” said Tan Tong Hai, CEO of StarHub.
Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO of Singtel’s Consumer Singapore noted that this marks the first time the industry has come together to work on a solution that brings convenience to both business owners and consumers.
“Seamless, secure and convenient buying experiences are real currency in our increasingly digital economy and we expect more businesses to jump on board and implement Mobile Connect,” he added.
Mobile Connect has been launched by 52 operators in 29 markets, including China Mobile, Airtel in India, Indosat in Indonesia, and Digi in Malaysia.
Featured Image Credit: Mobile Connect