AT&T launches mobile identity service

The explosion of mobile uses among consumers opens up a multitude of opportunities for the development of new services for telecommunications operators. By offering an identity management kit to companies, American AT&T is starting to exploit this growth reserve.

Intended to strengthen the security of banking and mobile commerce, this offer takes the form of an API (“application programming interface”), allowing its capabilities to be integrated very simply into a smartphone application.. In its current state, it supports two main functions: validation of the terminal (as well as its registration on the operator’s network) and an option of automatic transmission of the user’s personal information.

The first makes it easier to control the device from which transactions are made, once the customer’s identity has been associated with their phone. It then becomes virtually impossible for a hacker to access the services thus protected without having taken possession of the victim’s device. The second can be useful to simplify the entry of form, for example when an applicant must fill in his identity when opening an account.

According to an article the American Banker magazine, other options are being considered in the long term, including, for example, a geolocation function that would complete this anti-fraud panoply. Of course, none of this is revolutionary and similar mechanisms are already in place in some mobile banking applications. Despite everything, such a solution, marketed by the operator, has the advantage of total transparency for the end-user.

This characteristic makes it a particularly interesting offer in addition to the other (more traditional) security means already implemented in the applications, providing an additional level of protection without additional “effort”. It is certainly a question of convinced Payfone, a provider of mobile authentication technologies, to integrate it into its own products.

The fact remains that, in order to hope to seduce its target, AT&T cannot remain alone in this initiative: it is out of the question that m-banking or m-commerce applications will be available in versions specific to each player present. on the market (and its own safety kit). Discussions are therefore underway, at the level of the GSMA (the world association of operators), to try to impose standards for these value-added services.

After their mistakes in the field of payments via the telephone, where they have almost no chance of breaking through (in developed countries), it is time for telecommunications operators to exploit their “real” strengths. These first attempts at security could soon be enriched with new services for which the needs are just as critical and their legitimacy is indisputable: integration of videoconferencing, recording of conversations, etc.

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