x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Bank details will be stored on your sim card

The UAE telecoms regulator is planning to improve mobile phone security by storing sensitive customer data on sim cards as opposed to sending out details via the web.

ABU DHABI // Confidential customer details will be stored on mobile-phone sim cards by May next year, in an effort to improve security when using m-government services.

The service is designed to store information, such as bank details and passwords, on the sim card to save users from sending out their details over the internet and exposing them to increased risk from hackers.

The initiative, dubbed The National Trusted Service Manager, is being developed by aeCert, the cyber-security arm of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Once fully implemented, customers will have to buy a new sim card for Dh25 from their service provider to make use of the service.

Using a mobile “wallet” app on a smartphone, the details will be verified from the sim card, then a confirmation is sent to the appropriate service the customer is using, instead of sending full details over the internet.

The security department said that only the customer would have access to the data, and if the phone was lost, the sim card could be disabled by making a phone call to the service provider.

The Trusted Service Manager will initially be used with the Emirates Identity Authority app, designed to streamline applying, renewing and paying for your ID card .

“This is a key project in the m-government initiative,” said Tariq Al Hawi, director of aeCert.

“This project is mainly about security and trust of the mobile application ecosystem. This gives confidence and a better experience to users. Users will be able to apply for services anywhere, any time, 24/7.”

A soft launch for National Trusted Service Manager is scheduled for later this year, with a full roll-out in 2015.

ksinclair@thenational.ae