The UK's four mobile network operators - O2, Vodafone, Three and EE - have come together to strengthen consumer safety online, developing a new product for businesses 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.
Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK, said 'In a world of increasing digital transactions, the launch of Number Verify is an evolution in how customers can be protected against cybercrime and social engineering attacks. Working collaboratively, as an industry the four operators can offer service providers and app developers reach that covers 65m mobile data connections, which is a powerful weapon in the fight against fraud.'
Prior to the launch of Number Verify, a common way for businesses to verify users was by sending a one-time passcode to the consumer's mobile phone. This was then input into the business's mobile app or website to confirm possession of the mobile phone.
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.