The project was specifically set up to test the viability of reusable digital identities in commercial situations. Onfido is now reporting that the results were extremely positive, and that the portable identities used in the pilot were able to streamline onboarding procedures and reduce compliance costs for financial institutions.
“This pilot was instrumental in proving that portable identity significantly improves both consumer experience and protection,” said Onfido Co-Founder and CEO Husayn Kassai. “We’re proceeding to apply it to other geographies and services such as renting a car, checking into a hotel, and even voting.”
The digital IDs will give people more control over their personal information, and are intended to replace the existing onboarding ecosystem. To that end, credentialing organizations will verify someone’s personal information, and then issue a digital ID that can be stored on the owner’s smartphone. After that, banks and other organizations will be able to request information from customers, and those customers will be able to choose whether or not they wish to share their digital credential.
“When you put the individual in charge of her digital identity, everyone wins,” said Evernym CEO Steve Havas. “It gives consumers the freedom to securely move about the digital world, and businesses the ability to finally know and trust who they are interacting with.”
The UK updated its Anti-Money Laundering regulations to allow electronic credentials in January. According to Onfido, that legislation will enable the next phase of the digital identity pilot as the company seeks to develop a solution that can move into commercial production.
The people who participated in the pilot were able to sign up for financial products with their digital IDs. The majority would later use that same digital ID to register for another service. Of those who participated in focus panels, more than half indicated that they would recommend the solution to other people.
Onfido is currently working with the UK to develop biometric immunity passports in response to COVID-19.
June 3, 2020 – by Eric Weiss