Earlier this month, Veon announced that it was moving forward with the launch of its new “Apple ID” like MobileID solution.

According to Veon, the MobileID initiative is an authentication, credentials management, and permission control system that will safeguard consumers and protect retail companies.

Web and mobile app companies would be offered to integrate Veon’s MobileID to authenticate users on their platforms.

The company is geared to roll out the new solution to its 212 million customers across nine countries, including Pakistan, besides promoting it as a standard digital identity validation system for mobile operators worldwide.

According to Veon, MobileID incorporates the GSMA’s Mobile Connect standard and is fully compliant with local data privacy laws.

Veon trailed the tool extensively in Russia in partnership with different mobile operators. During the nine-month trial, over 1.2 million monthly active users subscribed to the MobileID solution.

Subscribers used the tool to authenticate their digital persona with 36 major online service providers and merchants in Russia.
Rivaling Big Tech Firms

Veon CEO, Kaan Terzioglu, has said that MobileID could rival the digital authentication solutions used by U.S. technology giants, including Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. to simplify mobile logins without sacrificing privacy.

While these dominating solutions of today promise the same tagline, i.e. simplify the mobile logins without sacrificing privacy, Veon thinks they could be trusted more being a cellular carrier.

With the new tool, users could log into systems like retail or banking websites using their phone number and one-time password, instead of using separate passwords, or those linked to existing systems like Facebook or Google.

“It is the right time for the mobile telecommunications industry to implement a new industry standard for digital identity validation,” said Veon Group CEO Kaan Terzioğlu talking about the new solution.

“For both consumers and retailers, MobileID could replace the authentication services currently offered by social networks that are often susceptible to fraud and lack the checks on the true identity of the digital persona.”

But is it the right time, or is the mobile industry in general and Veon, in particular, are late in implementing such a solution when tech giants like Google and Facebook dominate the digital authentication scene?

Can Veon’s Mobile ID Become industry standard?

Veon’s primary target for MobileID is its 212 million customers across its nine global markets that include Pakistan and Bangladesh.

As you may know, Telenor also introduced its authentication system that’s used across its own mobile apps and websites, but is yet not adopted by other webs services for logins and authentications.

While we don’t have sufficient data available with us to form an opinion, it appears that widespread usage of Facebook, Google, and Apple authentication systems will pose good bumps for Veon in the beginning at least.

On top of that, we weren’t impressed by Veon’s other ambitious project, the Veon chat app, that failed miserably not long ago. However, it would be unfair if to judge the company just based on one instance.

But imagine if you are courageous enough to start a new email service that will rival Gmail or Outlook on day one, what chances would you have?

Not many, maybe.

But then if you build an irresistible service, such as foodpanda or Careem replica, that’s used by millions of subscribers, and then a module – say a map, authentication, or maybe a payment service that you are using for your own apps can be offered to other third-party platforms to authenticate their users, you will have a much better chance.

We know it’s a very ambitious project with a questionable track record in the field, and will require Veon to do it very right to make it to the top.