Mobile Connect: the new secure identity service

The digital age has led to an unprecedented level of access to information and services. However, access to such information and services often requires the user to sign-up to websites and applications, resulting in the need to remember user names and passwords. With such a high proportion of users forgetting log-in details, there is a need for a secure solution that bypasses the issue of forgetting passwords, thereby keeping the user engaged.

Mobile ConnectThe GSMA has been working for the past two years with mobile operators, vendors and service providers collecting requirements to deliver a secure universal identity solution with privacy protection. Simply by matching the user to their mobile phone, Mobile Connect allows them to authenticate to websites and applications quickly without the need to remember passwords and usernames. It is safe, secure and no personal information is shared without the user´s permission.

Mobile Connect’s key strength is that personal information is never shared without the user’s express consent. The user is granted access anonymously, and if they choose, they can pair their current username and password with Mobile Connect keeping the personalization of their current digital services. Additionally, digital service providers including Mobile Connect in their online service must follow Mobile Connect’s Privacy Principles, which revolve around privacy and control of data.

Security: a priority for operators in Latin America


Only in America more than 10 million users have suffered from identity theft (according to Jumio’s cybercrime report) and the problem has an important impact in the regional economy. In Brazil and Mexico, cybercrime implies billion-dollar-losses. This affects the purchase decision from customers who do not see enough value in online shopping to compensate their security concerns.

Additionally, the growing number of smartphones and machine-to-machine communications is driving to a significant increase of personal data collection, creating new threats to privacy. The 2015 GSMA Report established that 82% of consumers worldwide would like to know when and what type of personal information is being collected.

In spite of this, there are opportunities as well because 60% of consumers worldwide accept sharing their details in exchange for deals and other commercial benefits. A Longitude Research states that the costs of loss of customer trust resulting from a cyber-attack on a bank are nearly double the amount of any monetary damages incurred. On the other hand the resulting loss of consumer trust becomes a branding nightmare with cost-per-minute downtimes reaching into the millions of dollars.

Latin America opens the door to Mobile Connect


Mobile operators are in a unique situation due to their global reach, experience of secure customer data management, conformance with strong privacy protection regulation and their robust network authentication mechanisms. Therefore, operators are the ideal partner for online services provided in the different sectors: retail, education, healthcare, finance, utilities and much more.

Mobile Connect has already been commercially launched by mobile operators in Asia and growing rapidly towards other regions: Europe and America. In the American continent, Mexico and Argentina are the two more advanced countries where mobile operators are in the final stages of implementing Mobile Connect. Other countries such as Brazil, Peru or Colombia will come next, expanding the Mobile Connect availability in Latina America, positioning this region as one of the pioneers in the world.

The final goal of the industry is to evolve this service to include new means of authentication, such as biometry, and providing the user the ability to provide permission to share attributes (e.g. location). For example, according to a GSMA Consumer Research, 75% of consumers are interested in their location being transmitted to their bank to enable an easier use of their credit card abroad.

GSMA is at the disposal of all operators, vendors or service providers interested in Mobile Connect to facilitate technical specifications, potential use cases, business details, implementation support and sharing experience from countries who have already launched Mobile Connect. Alternatively, visit Mobile Connect site to keep up to date with the latest developments in Mobile Connect; or get involved in Mobile Connect.

Mobile Connect worldwide