New API services to fight fraud in Indonesia and South Africa

New API services to fight fraud in Indonesia and South Africa

Telcos in Indonesia and South Africa on Thursday launched new API services focused on enhancing security and customer experience as part of the GSMA Open Gateway initiative.

According to the GSMA, Indonesian telcos Telkomsel, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison, XL Axiata, and Smartfren have launched Number Verification, SIM Swap and Device Location services based on Open GatewayAPIs.

Meanwhile, South African telcos Cell C, Telkom and MTN (via its API marketplace Chenosis) have adopted the Number Verification and SIM Swap services.

The “Number Verification” service streamlines mobile number verification for users, ensuring robust authentication and a seamless experience, addressing issues like SMS delivery failures or user technology challenges.

The “SIM Swap” service will detect recent changes in SIM cards associated with a phone number, crucial for preventing account takeovers, especially during financial transactions. 

The “Device Location” service enables organizations to confirm a device’s specific location, enhancing fraud detection and accuracy for services like delivery apps, while also thwarting GPS manipulation and fraudulent activities. 

All three services leverage APIs from the GSMA Open Gateway, the framework of common network APIs designed to provide enterprise developers with universal access to operator networks.

Hermansyah, Smartfren’s Chief of New Business Development for its business unit, said the APIs “will greatly facilitate interoperability among systems, as individual customers or businesses will only need to use a single interface to connect to various operators’ systems nationwide.”

South African operators heralded the launch of Number Verification and SIM Swap, as the country recorded a 24% surge in reported incidents of digital banking fraud in 2022, according to a report published last year by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC). That surge was mainly attributed to the growing number of fraud cases related to banking applications and online banking.

“Digital fraud is not only a threat to finances but an assault on trust in the digital economy,” said Lunga Siyo, CEO of Telkom Consumer and Small Business. “We are excited to partner with GSMA to eradicate the vulnerabilities that currently exist.”

“Banking fraud is a growing threat in South Africa, and mobile network operators are strategically placed to work with developers to help banks, financial institutions and commerce providers mitigate the risk and protect their customers,” said Angela Wamola, head of Sub-Saharan Africa of the GSMA. “The availability of the two APIs to South African operators will equip enterprises with additional means of verifying that their customers are who they say they are and protecting them against identity theft, all while maintaining the user experience.”

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