Digital Identity

UK Mobile Networks team up on new security product ‘Number Verify’

New security product will help businesses seamlessly verify customer identity for online transactions

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – have teamed up to strengthen consumer safety online, developing a new product that authenticates user identity for online transactions.

The new product, called Number Verify, will help in the fight against fraud by verifying customers through matching phone numbers used in a web or app session to ensure the details being provided are the same registered on the customer’s account. This will help businesses be confident that the customer’s identity is genuine and reduce fraud whilst still preserving their privacy.

It will allow businesses with mobile apps such as financial services (banks, building societies), e-commerce, gig economy platforms and social networks to enable their consumers to prove their identity when completing transactions on their mobile phones.

Number Verify is the next generation version of a very common way to verify your identity when signing into an app or website, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). With 2FA, in addition to providing your correct username and password, you need to prove you physically have something that only you should have access to – typically your smartphone or number-generating dongle or key-fob.

Every time you log in to an app or website that uses traditional 2FA, it sends you a time-limited, single-use security passcode by either SMS to your registered mobile number or through a separate, authenticator app (such as Google Authenticator or Symantec VIP Access) on your phone.

Logging in from your phone means you must switch apps, copy the passcode, switch back and paste in the passcode, or accept the verification request on your authenticator app.

You must do all this before the passcode expires; if not then you have to start afresh by requesting another code. Although an effective security measure, 2FA’s multi-step procedure can be fiddly to accomplish on a phone – especially for people intimidated by technology.

Number Verify simplifies this process and is PSD2 SCA  (Strong Customer Authentication) compliant, which means it adheres to regulation that has been adopted by the UK to protect business and consumers from the growing amounts of fraud in digital payments online.

The UK’s four major mobile operators, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have developed their Digital Identity B2B product portfolios in collaboration with the GSMA to offer a range of products to enterprises.

To use Numer Verify, all you need to do is register your number with the service first and then when you log in to an app or website supporting Number Verify, that’s all you have to do. No extra layer of security required. 

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