Chinese telcos launch open API to tackle fraud with OTPs

Chinese telcos launch open API to tackle fraud with OTPs

The GSMA has announced that China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have commercially launched an open API from the GSMA Open Gateway initiative to help reduce mobile fraud, while CITIC Telecom, Huawei and ZTE have joined the initiative.

According to the GSMA, all three telcos have launched the One Time Password (OTP) API, which is designed to improve the security of mobile apps and online services. The service enables users to receive an OTP to provide proof of possession of a phone number and verify their identity.

The GSMA says the OTP API is more secure than single-factor authentication and a better solution for in card-not-present payment scenarios. Applications for the OTP API include onboarding to digital services, verifying high-value transactions and account management features such as resetting passwords.

The GSMA said the rollout represents China’s first commercial open API launch since signing up for the GSMA Open Gateway initiative in June 2023.

The China launch is the latest in a slew of announcements by operators launching Open APIs in Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan, among others, mainly to address mobile and online fraud. In China alone, the Ministry of Public Security reportedly tackled 391,000 cases of telecom and online fraud between January and November 2023.

“As instances of online fraud continue to grow in both scope and scale globally, the GSMA Open Gateway is equipping developers with the tools they need to protect users in the digital space,” said GSMA director general Mats Granryd in a statement.

Meanwhile, the GSMA also revealed that CITIC Telecom, Huawei and ZTE have become the latest Chinese companies to commit to the Open Gateway initiative.

The GSMA said these new partnerships will help to drive demand and uptake of Open Gateway APIs in China and support the initiative’s “go-to-market” strategy, which was announced at MWC 2024.

Under that strategy, GSMA Open Gateway will focus on three go-to-market commercial channels for open API adoption: the network cloud marketplace (i.e. cloud providers including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Vonage), strategic technology partners and resellers such as Infobip, Nokia, and Ericsson, and operators going direct to market through their enterprise and innovation divisions.

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