1 e-identity for 3 telcos' web services

Wouldn't it be nice to have the one password that rules them all on your mobile devices?

The three local telcos - Singtel, StarHub and M1 - believe they have the solution in an e-identity that will allow consumers to do away with managing multiple passwords when accessing online services on their mobile devices.

The service, dubbed Mobile Connect, will be tied to a customer's mobile number and may be launched as early as the second half of next year.

Mobile Connect can be used to access a host of online services, including the customer's telco account and for online transactions.

The three telcos here would not reveal their online partners but said the service will target all industries, including finance, e-commerce, entertainment and government services.

Administrator Diana Lee, 42, said while the idea is good, she is concerned about security.

"What if I lose my phone and the SIM card? My number is known to many people," she added.

With Mobile Connect, consumers will be prompted to enter their mobile number when logging in.

If consumers log in from their mobile phones, their telcos will verify over the cellular or Wi-Fi network that the mobile number entered matches the credentials on the SIM card.

They may be prompted to also enter a code, which they must remember.

When logging in via the computer or tablet, consumers may also be prompted to enter a one-time password delivered to their mobile phone.

Even so, businessman Harry Chew, 46, prefers the security offered by fingerprint and iris scanning, available in many phones today.

Such biometrics technologies are more advanced than the use of one-time passwords, which can be hijacked.

The three telcos said customers should secure their phones with a passcode or fingerprint scanning.

Customers are also advised to report the loss of their phones to the telcos immediately to block any unauthorised use.

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