Mobile Connect is enabling digital identity for public sector services

One of the interesting aspects of Mobile Connect is its ability to act as a secure digital identity solution for both private and public sector services. At the GSMA seminar ‘Mobile Connect: Driving Global Economic Growth Through Secure Mobile Identity Verification’, on 24 February, experts from across the eGovernment sector endorsed Mobile Connect as a credible and scalable digital identity solution that can be used for both private and public sector services.

Mobile Connect has already been launched in multiple markets across the globe and was recently confirmed to be available to 2 billion consumers. At the beginning of yesterday’s seminar, Marie Austenaa, VP and Head of Personal Data & Mobile Identity, GSMA, highlighted further successes of the digital identity solution, including data from Turkish operator Turkcell, which states that Mobile Connect already accounted 5% of Turkcell’s logins.

The political momentum behind digital identity is greater than ever with governments around the world realising that it can enable the delivery of convenient and secure public sector services at a greatly reduced cost. Dr Mariana Dahan of the World Bank Group underscored this point when she asserted that ‘$50 billion could be saved by governments globally due to digital identity enabled services’.

Indeed, such steps have already been taken by some states, such as the UK Government. According to Marta Ienco, Regulatory and Policy Director, GSMA, ‘the Cabinet Office helped the British Government save £1.7 billion ($2.5 billion) through digital and technology transformation and GOV.UK Verify (the online portal for identity services) saved £36.5 million ($52 million)’.

Marta Ienco also illustrated that Mobile Connect can help governments become more socially responsible by virtue of enabling digital inclusion for 1.5 billion unregistered people in the world, most of which are disproportionately located in developing countries. Digital inclusion has the potential to vastly improve peoples’ access to essential services and can also create a huge business opportunity in the private sector.

In November, Mobile Connect was used in a cross-border public sector pilot which made it the first private sector cross-border public service authentication solution compatible with European Union eIdentification and Trust Services (eIDAS) Regulation. The pilot demonstrated how Mobile Connect can be used to identify an EU-citizen of one Member State in order to gain access to a public service of another. Mobile Connect offers a simple way of achieving pan-European federation of cross-border services for the EU governments compatible with the eIDAS regulation, whilst enabling growth in digital public services nationally.

Mobile Connect can have a variety public sector use cases including, taxes, healthcare and payments. One of the reasons it is uniquely placed to serve the public sector is because many such services, such as annual tax returns, occur infrequently, meaning there is less likelihood that other private sector universal solutions will be developed.

With Mobile Connect, Operators can play a key role in providing a digital identity solution by leveraging the information they have on their customers. Andrea Servida, Head of Task Force eIDAS in DG CONNECT, European Commission, stated that ‘leveraging mobile infrastructure is a way to accelerate cross-border solutions’. According to Michael Garcia, National Strategy for Trusted Identities in CyberSpace (NSTIC) ‘It’s a very strong bet that they (operators) will have a role to play’ in the digital identity space. To discover more about Mobile Connect, please click here.

Download presentations from the event

The Mobile Connect Opportunity – Marie Austenaa, GSMA 

Digital Identity as a Key Enabler for eGovernment Services – Marta Ienco, GSMA

Identification for Development – Mariana Dahan, World Bank Group

Mobile Identities Digital Identity Services by MNOs – Christian Marc, Gemalto

Digital Identity – Road to Universal Mobile ID – Joni Rapanen, TeliaSonera

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace – Michael Garcia, NSTIC

The eIDAS Regulation and the Digital Single Market – Andrea Servida, European Comission