The three German mobile operators are deploying a GSMA service which will allow users to login securely using their phone number.
Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica Deutschland are all implementing the Mobile Connect service, which allows users to access their online accounts without entering a password.
Rather than their usual login details, a user enters their mobile number and receives an SMS on their device containing a link which they then click, confirming receipt. The operator then transmits an encrypted customer reference number to the portal to authenticate the user.
The service will be rolled out in the country during this year, with identity and data provider Verimi as the operators’ first major technology platform partner. The operators expect online stores, internet portal registrations and later government online forms to use it.
Alex Sinclair, CTO of the GSMA, said: “By offering Mobile Connect, mobile network operators are taking an important step in the area of digital identification, and are giving users greater control over their own data. With the service, users, businesses and government agencies can interact conveniently in private and trustworthy environments.
“The introduction of Mobile Connect in Germany will spur global growth of this authentication solution.”
Dirk Backofen, Head of Telekom Security, said: “Password theft is now occurring on an enormous scale. With Mobile Connect and Verimi, we will be able to offer greater security and convenience in cyberspace.”
Pia von Houwald, Director B2P Digital Processes and Services at Telefónica Deutschland, said: “Mobile Connect makes digital living simpler and more secure for everyone, including customers, providers of digital services and mobile-network operators.”
Michael Reinartz, Director of Strategy and Innovation at Vodafone Deutschland, said: “By eliminating the need for passwords, [Mobile Connect] eliminates a key risk factor – easy-to-guess passwords. Mobile Connect is enormously flexible, and soon it will facilitate completely new application scenarios for reliable authentication – for example, for user authentication on eGovernment portals and in eCommerce shops.”
Since introduction in 2014, Mobile Connect has reached over 30 countries worldwide, including the UK, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and Finland.