Reliance Jio is getting ready to make a splash in digital identity and authentication space with the launch of Jio SecureID. Jio SecureID is an authentication and ID system not dissimilar to ‘Sign in with Apple’ or Google sign-in, however, it aims to become far more than just a service that can be used for signing into apps and websites.
Whats is Jio SecureID?
With Jio SecureID, Jio Platforms, which is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), aims to offer an authentication and identity product that is verified using a government issued identification like Aadhaar, thus being able to put an actual face behind a digital identity. This verification will give Jio SecureID the much-needed edge for working with financial institutions, something that other widely used authentication systems can’t do right now. It will allow the company to be able to authorise financial transactions from linked accounts.
Imagine being able to link a single identity with your bank accounts, shopping websites, and other services, and being able to find, buy, and pay for products, without the hassle of putting in different credentials. This is the future Jio SecureID is seemingly envisioning.
Jio SecureID has been in the works for many months and the company very recently start beta testing it Reliance Group employees, as it has done with multiple other pre-release products in the past, including Jio Fiber. It was earlier known as JioID. The service would have gone much sooner in testing, however like many things around the world, it was impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. As the world around us opens up, Jio Platforms has moved quickly on the testing front.
Jio SecureID will work via a mobile app that is currently available to Reliance employees via internal website (Android version) and Apple Testflight (iOS version). This app will allow consumers to create a Jio SecureID account that will essentially be that person’s mobile number. Jio SecureID will also need Aadhaar card for identity verification as well as a 20-second live video of the consumer for further confirmation of who is using the SecureID. Notably, Jio SecureID isn’t only for Jio users, it can be used by anyone.
Jio SecureID will also include two PINs – four digits and six digits – that will be used to authentication the Jio SecureID whenever required. The six digits PIN will be used for high-value transactions. Additionally, there will multi-factor authentication for further security.
As mentioned, Jio SecureID is currently being tested within RIL, and select employees have access to it. It currently works with RIL’s Employee Self Service (ESS) portal. Once linked, RIL staff can use Jio SecureID to access RIL ESS and perform various tasks.
Jio Platforms plans to expand the availability of Jio SecureID to all Reliance apps and websites over the coming weeks. Following successful testing, it will be released as a public product that can be used by anyone on supported apps and websites. Also, apart from currently available Android and iOS apps, Jio is also working to bring a JioPhone version of Jio SecureID app.
Security and privacy
As is with any authentication product, there are obvious security and privacy concerns, especially since Jio wants users’ Aadhaar card information for verification, however Jio claims to be using patented technology to offer a secure experience
On a website (no longer accessible) created to onboard RIL employees on Jio SecureID, the company says, “Jio SecureID uses a highly secure patented technology wherein your passwords or PINs are not stored anywhere and it cannot be hacked.”
Jio has been dabbling in a lot of services apart from its primary telecom business. It recently launched its JioMart grocery delivery services in select cities after testing it in Mumbai suburbs. Jio also introduced an apartment security service called Jio Gate last year. It also has a host of apps that it offers regardless of which telecom operator you are using.
Jio’s potential has been noticed by firms like Facebook and various private equity players that are investing billions of dollars in the company. Over the last seven weeks, seven firms have announced investments in Jio Platforms. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority was the latest to invest in the company.
Update: Reliance Jio has removed the website of Jio SecureID after we published this report revealing its existence.