OTP Not Required For Online Payments, telecom companies verify identities with their mobile numbers

Indian consumers will soon be relieved from the password fatigue while transacting via smartphones, as telecom companies in India will soon verify user identities with just their mobile numbers. The Economic Times mentioned in a report, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are also hoping to use this to counter fraud that occurs through so-called SIM mirroring to breach bank accounts and other secure digital enclaves.

Presently, customers have to wait for a four-to-six digit onetime password (OTP) to come on their smartphone after providing their mobile numbers to an app or site to do a financial transaction. This unique number has to be fed for the transaction to be completed. In case of any delay, the transaction gets timed out, forcing customers to toggle between sites. The transaction could even get stalled in some cases, with money going out of the account. “It is leading to password fatigue across age groups. We are working on this kind of mobile identity, which will ensure secure transactions in one shot,” said a senior executive. This feature which is getting piloted currently, should be available to all by the first half of 2021, depending on regulatory clearances according to telecom executives.

According to the telecom executive cited earlier, there won’t be any reduction in security measures. The executive said “Earlier, one had two-step security process — punch in the mobile number and wait for the OTP. Now, the same two-step process is used — your mobile number and then the verification”. Enterprises will likely offer this as an option to customers, since some may prefer the password/OTP method.