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News | 18 Nov 2020

Logging in to websites on your phone is about to become a lot easier

With Number Verify, supported by Vodafone and all the other UK mobile networks, logging in to online shopping and banking sites can be seamless rather than a fiddly chore.

Vodafone UK is throwing its weight behind Number Verify, a new way for people to log securely into mobile apps and websites.  

It’s easier to use than other authentication methods as it’s designed specifically with smartphones in mind. 

Number Verify is the next generation version of a very common way to verify your identity when signing into an app or websiteTwo-Factor Authentication (2FA). With 2FA, in addition to providing your correct username and password, you need to prove you physically have something that only you should have access to – typically your smartphone or number-generating dongle or key-fob

Every time you log in to an app or website that uses traditional 2FA, it sends you a time-limited, single-use security passcode by either SMS to your registered mobile number or through a separate, authenticator app (such as Google Authenticator or Symantec VIP Access) on your phone.

Logging in from your phone means you must switch apps, copy the passcode, switch back and paste in the passcode, or accept the verification request on your authenticator app.

You must do all this before the passcode expires; if not then you have to start afresh by requesting another code. Although an effective security measure, 2FA’s multi-step procedure can be fiddly to accomplish on a phone – especially for people intimidated by technology.

Number Verify makes things much simpler.

All you do is register your number with the service first and then when you log in to an app or website supporting Number Verify, that’s all you have to do. No extra layer of security required. 

It sounds so simple and obvious, it’s hard to believe 2FA hasn’t always worked this way.

Number Verify works with any phone number from any of the UK’s major mobile networks, including Vodafone. It is inherently secure as it is not only an industry standard backed by mobile industry body GSMA, it also uses the encrypted authentication mechanism that identifies mobile numbers and allows them to connect to mobile networks. 

Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK said: “The current COVID-19 situation means more and more of our customers are reaching for their mobile phone for online banking services. The introduction of the Number Verify service brings extra assurance to customers that their details remain secure while also removing friction from the user experience.   

It also offers an additional step for banks and online payment platforms in their ongoing fight against fraud and cyber-crime.”

For customers to take advantage of Number Verify, the apps and websites they use have to support it. Businesses that want to adopt Number Verify and integrate it into their products and services should contact Vodafone to get started.

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