mobile connectBy Claire Maslen, GSMA.

Across all sectors, next generation connected solutions have the potential to transform the delivery of services and enrich the lives of billions of people throughout the globe. Yet, while the market opportunity is widely understood and myriad proofs of concept firmly established, those developing digital services need to rise to meet the demand for solutions that are not only convenient, but secure and respect user privacy.

The latest innovation in this space is Mobile Connect, the Operator-facilitated universal digital identity solution that allows users to log-in to websites and applications quickly without the need to remember passwords and usernames. Instead, Mobile Connect works by combining the user’s unique mobile number and PIN to verify and authenticate them online.

In the wake of several high profile hacks and data breaches, consumer confidence in online and digital services is at an all- time low. Mobile Connect can help restore trust and enable digital services to scale by enabling service providers to use a secure, private and convenient means in which consumers can access goods and services through multiple channels.

There are a number of signs that mobile could be the most suit- able platform for a secure digital identity solution. Perhaps most importantly, is the rapid growth of smartphone ownership; this has resulted in mobile surpassing traditional devices such as PC and laptop, as the predominant means by which people access to the internet.

As such there is a huge opportunity for service providers to harness the power of mobile to enhance digital services in both the private and public sector. In the private sector, one of the primary applications of Mobile Connect is in commerce. Merchants and retailers are utilising mobile to increase engagement, sales and loyalty. However, digital retailers must increase both confidence and convenience for the consumer, as a huge number of transactions are never completed. According to Barilliance, an e-commerce personalisation solutions provider, 74 per cent of online baskets were abandoned in 2013 alone.

In the public sector too, Mobile Connect has the potential to transform the delivery of services. 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. According to the World Bank Group, $50 billion could be saved by governments globally due to digital identity enabled services.

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

In November last year, 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 has a variety of 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 for such a purpose.

Since the solution was introduced in 2014, 34 Operators have launched the service in 21 countries and the solution is now avail- able to 2 billion consumers globally. At Mobile World Congress 2016, Mobile Connect was showcased across a number of sectors including, health, commerce and eGovernment.

To discover more about Mobile Connect, please visit

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