With the industry pinning its collective hopes on network APIs to revive their fortunes, one telco hopes they can tackle fraud as well.

Nick Wood

March 8, 2024

3 Min Read

Singtel has launched a new suite of solutions that use APIs to automatically check digital identities stored by online services and platforms against data stored by the telco.

More and more online services like banks, subscription services and retailers rely on multi-factor authentication processes – like sending a one-time passcode to the phone number associated with an account – to guard against fraudulent activity.

Singtel's new solution, called SingVerify and based on the GSMA's Open Gateway framework, uses the Number Verify API to enable an application to seamlessly carry out this authentication process, making for a much slicker experience without sacrificing security.

Further down the line, the telco plans to leverage additional APIs like Device Location to enhance SingVerify's fraud detection capabilities.

Citing figures from the Singapore Police Force, Singtel said there were 50,376 scam cases in 2023 – a 49.6 percent increase compared to the 2022. Phishing scams were a top five scam concern, making up 12.8 percent of all scam cases. A total of $651.8 million was lost to scam cases in 2023.

"Phishing scams continue to impact many innocent people. In today's digital economy, technology is pervasive, and we'd like our customers to be able to enjoy the benefits of a digital lifestyle safely. That's why we launched SingVerify – a game-changing solution that's eliminating complicated authentication methods yet protecting consumers," said Singtel Singapore CEO Ng Tian Chong.

"By designing SingVerify according to the GSMA's framework, this solution can be easily deployed by any service provider. We're confident that SingVerify will play a critical role in mitigating fraud in real-time, safeguarding critical customer data, and preventing potential financial losses for many consumers," he said.

Stock trading platform Tiger Brokers and its mobile authentication provider IPification have already agreed to integrate SingVerify into their security frameworks. It is due to be rolled out to end users during the first half of this year.

"We're hyper-aware that digital fraud has been rapidly increasing globally, and digital platforms are particularly targeted, especially when relying on passwords to protect their users," said Stefan Kostic, CEO of IPification. "Our mission has always been to protect consumers without introducing any additional friction to their user experience. By partnering with Singtel, we are delighted to bring seamless authentication solutions such as SingVerify to businesses including Tiger Brokers and their customers in Singapore."

Singtel also announced separately it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with rival Singaporean telco M1 that covers the development and deployment of network APIs to safeguard against dodgy activity.

They have agreed to federate a suite of APIs that will enable enterprises to access real-time telco network data for authentication and fraud detection. Number Verify and Device Location will be the first set of APIs to be made available, followed by more in future.

"This collaboration with Singtel goes beyond a mere partnership, it is a decisive move to safeguard users and businesses against evolving digital threats," said M1 COO Mustafa Kapasi. "By federating APIs and leveraging the synergies in our network capabilities, we will offer both enterprises and consumers access to more secure and verified digital transactions."

With authentication and fraud detection high on the agenda for pretty much all enterprises, solutions like SingVerify are an obvious use case for network APIs. It's one that could not only generate some much-needed revenue but also serve as proof that this whole Open Gateway endeavour is worth the effort.

About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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