Mobile Connect Helping to Secure Online Commerce in India

April 19, 2018

Blog

India’s economy is becoming increasingly mobile-centric. 39 million smartphones were sold on the subcontinent in Q3 2017 alone – up 20% on the previous year – and almost 70% of transactions are now completed on a mobile phone. As mobile devices become India’s mode of choice for going online – and, as the Indian government pursues its goal of creating a largely cashless economy, ever more payments are made digitally – consumers have come to expect greater confidence while they do so. The mobile industry this month met that expectation, as three of India’s largest operators brought Mobile Connect, the industry’s pan-sectoral solution for digital identity, to many millions more citizens.

Mobile Connect allows users to dispense with the inconvenience and risk of usernames and passwords by pairing them with something they have on their person as a matter of course – their mobile phone – and something they know, a single PIN.  Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone now offer Indians a range of security and authentication products through Mobile Connect. Services include:

  • Secure Transaction Approval, allowing consumers to simplify the process of online purchases, while helping strengthen trust in online vendors and reduce attrition;
  • Fraud Protection, by which unauthorised mobile numbers are excluded from carrying out transactions through a give device;
  • Customer Verification, confirming the identity of online customers to help enterprises conduct business safely and efficiently, while ensuring customers receive authentication requests;
  • Account Login, which enables consumers to log in anonymously and with ease using their mobile number, discouraging dropout associated with registration forms; and
  • Guest WiFi Login, which detects valid phone numbers through the mobile network to seamlessly authenticate those with permission to use a WiFi connection.

These India-specific services are already used by 11 million Indians, and with this month’s announcement that number is set to rise sharply over the year ahead. Essential to the ongoing consolidation of India’s digital economy is consumers trust; Mobile Connect’s strict requirement that users consent before their information can be shared with service providers, coupled with the unparalleled security mobile networks offer, leaves that trust well within reach. Globally, Mobile Connect is being deployed at a rate of one new operator per month, and the market opportunity is set to reach $75 billion by 2022. India is therefore likely to see more such announcements in the near future, as Mobile Connect becomes the standard mode of mobile authentication for online transactions and more.

Digital service providers who wish to be part of this can try the digital products above at www.mobileconnect.in/products, and discover how their businesses can both benefit from and contribute to the growing confidence in online commerce across India. The GSMA is offering customised developer support to this end, and the operators already launching Mobile Connect in India have collaborated through MC Link to ensure customers of all networks can use these services. India is truly realising its goal of becoming a digital economy by default, and that has only become possible through efforts such as these.

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