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China's top three mobile operators—China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom—have officially launched the One Time Password (OTP) Application Programming Interface (API) after receiving certification from the GSMA Open Gateway. This launch makes China the first country to introduce the OTP API to the market, marking China's initial commercial API launch since joining the GSMA Open Gateway in June 2023.

The GSMA Open Gateway initiative, unveiled at MWC Barcelona 2023, aims to speed up the growth of digital services and apps by granting developers universal access to operator networks. Online fraud is a significant issue globally. China's Ministry of Public Security reportedly resolved 391,000 cases of telecom and online fraud between January and November 2023. Therefore, the initial focus of the GSMA Open Gateway API launches revolve around combating online crime.

Enhancing Security

Developers can utilize the Open Gateway OTP API to enhance the security of their mobile apps and online services by sending a one-time password via SMS. This password allows users to confirm possession of a phone number and verify their identity, offering increased security compared to single-factor authentication, especially in card-not-present payment scenarios. This helps companies boost consumer confidence and safeguard users from fraud risks.

The applications of the Open Gateway OTP API include onboarding to digital services (such as banking, social media, gig economy, and retail), high-value transactions, and account management like password resets. CITIC Telecom International, Huawei, and ZTE have joined the GSMA Open Gateway initiative, supporting the ‘go-to-market’ strategy announced at MWC Barcelona 2024.

Since its inception a year ago, 48 mobile operator groups have joined GSMA Open Gateway, representing 240 mobile networks and 66% of global connections. Huawei and ZTE are the latest partners to join other channel partners and cloud providers like AWS, Google Cloud, Infobip, Microsoft Azure, Nokia, and Vonage in launching 95 commercial APIs worldwide.

Fostering Secure Innovation

Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, praised China's leading operators for launching the One Time Password API, emphasizing the importance of protecting mobile users from cybercriminals. The GSMA Open Gateway initiative equips developers with tools to enhance user protection in the digital realm, fostering innovation and new services.

Various executives from CITIC Telecom International, Huawei, and ZTE expressed their support for the GSMA Open Gateway initiative, highlighting the potential for global mobile interconnection, innovation, and business opportunities through open and interoperable API gateway solutions. They emphasized the importance of leveraging 5G networks and promoting network capability exposure to drive a prosperous ecosystem in the telecommunications industry.

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