For consumers, working with various institutions — such as banks, government agencies and medical systems — often means remembering just as many account passwords for accessing the services, and authenticating their digital identity (ID). Forgetting their account passwords can make it hard to complete basic tasks, and can add an unpleasant layer of friction to the experience of opening a bank account, completing an eCommerce purchase or paying a bill, to name a few.
The new “Digital Identity Tracker™” looks at how recent investments in a wide range of identity solutions could be put to use, by providing services to refugees, helping government agencies collect taxes and authenticating gig workers on digital hiring platforms.
Several major players have stepped up their investments in decentralized solutions in an effort to streamline the digital identity authentication process.
Tech giant Microsoft and financial services firm Mastercard are among them. Both companies recently partnered to develop a “universally recognized digital identity” that aims to offer a decentralized approach to identity verification. The solution works by providing people with a single identity that could be used to engage with banks, merchants or government agencies, instead of having to remember a unique password for each one.
Refugees are among the populations that stand to benefit most from decentralized solutions. Refugees often lack identification, creating a barrier to accessing basic services. The nonprofit organization Gravity Earth aims to tackle this issue with a solution that securely stores data on a decentralized platform built on blockchain. The solution provides refugees with the identification tools they need to access different benefits, as well as track other data, like the health and educational progress of refugee children.
Private organizations are also looking to blockchain for decentralized solutions. Identity verification solution SingleSource recently secured a $318,000 R&D grant from Callaghan Innovation that will be used to invest in its own decentralized digital ID system. The company will invest in research and design, hire new talent and secure technologies over the course of a year. SingleSource currently offers a decentralized risk scoring and identity verification service that uses blockchain. The company noted that fraud lists and transactional data can be fragmented across different organizations, delivering an incomplete look at an individual’s risk.
Speaking of risk, hiring platforms must work to ensure that all parties that use their services can be authenticated. This means customers must be able to trust that the professionals who are moving their items and entering their homes are who they claim to be, and moving professionals must be able to trust both the customers and any helpers who are assigned to work with them. For the January feature story, Kristin Smith, chief operating officer of on-demand moving platform Dolly, explained how the company uses constant feedback loops to establish trust for all parties involved in the moving process.
Download the Tracker to read the feature story, find a Deep Dive on smart cities and review a provider directory of more than 200 top players in the space.
The “Digital Identity Tracker™,” produced in collaboration with Jumio, is a forum for framing and addressing key issues and trends that face the entities charged with efficiently and securely identifying, and granting permission, to individuals so as to access, purchase, transact or otherwise confirm their identities.