Identity and Trust Gathering Speed
I’m quite fond of the saying: "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it." Never mind that it comes from an ‘80s movie, it has resonance for me and the rest of the team right now.
The online identity, verification and trust space seems to be accelerating at light speed, and it’s hard to even write this short update without fearing that it will be outdated by the time you read it. So moments like these are important to take stock of what’s happening around us and how our original vision is being validated every day.
Online Trust and the Role of the Banks
This rapid change is especially true in the case of banks, and how they are fast coming to the realization of the role they can play in creating trust online. Whether spurred on by the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) or the business case for taking positive action in dealing with the fraud, onboarding, and compliance, banks have begun to realize their own need for greater levels of identity when operating online and the huge opportunity in front of them.
The PSD2 is already playing a critical role as a catalyst for the industry to understand and discuss the potential impact of banks as identity providers. Conversations with FDATA alongside FCA, FFA, Payments UK and numerous others all highlight the opportunity in this space.
I witnessed this first hand while on a panel for the Fintextra Future Money conference earlier this year where it was encouraging to see one of the UK's main Retail Banks admit that they saw Identity as a USP that they could themselves leverage in the market. As long as this is done to enable and empower the consumer then this is a huge step forward.
It has been four years since miiCard was created specifically to provide this layer of trust in the Internet, and from the beginning our approach has been to leverage the trust consumers already have with their bank to prove they really are who they say they are online. It is humbling then to see the rest of the industry move to this point of view, and endorse that approach. But what is most exhilarating is that there is consensus around the ultimate need for that layer of trust.
This is reinforced by the almost daily stories in the media about the impact of not having this trust. From fraud to compliance, underwriting to affordability, personal data to hacking - consumers are demanding more and more that something be done. This is what is so exciting for us. To be able to offer such a high level of trust alongside convenience, control and security helps us make a positive impact in a market that is so much a part of everyday life. Over the next few months you will see more and more announcements from us about how we are hoping to make this impact, but for now let's just reflect on how much of a fundamental need online trust is for each and every one of us.
Identity around the Globe
We can point to this as a universal need because it’s one being confronted around the world. Australia is currently at a crossroads, South Korea is in a bit of a crisis, India is under question, the US is struggling, and even the UK is not getting the hoped for traction. It's clear that it’s time to move from government issued, segregated and managed identity services (especially where, like in the case of Australia, there are multiple services all being developed) to one that empowers the consumer to own and manage their own identity. Consumer owned identity is the only universal solution. What we should be doing as an industry is understand how this can be achieved - what it means and how we can educate consumers.
This is a trend that we will continue to see develop, and what is now being termed Identity 3.0 or Bring Your Own Identity (BYOID). It's this consumer-centric approach that has led us to become involved with NSTIC and OIX and similar projects both in the US and UK. Now as we expand to more countries, with people on the ground in Australia, Canada and other regions, we are hearing support for this approach and can begin to see real progress.
DirectID Making a Difference
The success of our new DirectID solution is driven in large part by these pains being felt by both businesses and consumers alike.
DirectID is our recently launched B2B plug and play cloud service that embeds directly into existing ID&V and onboarding processes. It has demonstrated the opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the consumer's trust, identity and data that they already have through their online bank. In just a few months we have had dozens of customers ranging from small independents to new FinTech startups to banks and billion dollar lenders integrate seamlessly in order to provide their customers a frictionless user experience. DirectID is now enabling the next generation of online consumer finance applications in retail banking, lending, mortgages and payments.
Lyndsay Wagster at eMoneyUnion summed up the end user experience nicely,"Our clients are choosing to verify through DirectID for speed and efficiency, they are really embracing it because it lets them complete their entire application all online."
With this powerful online verification and data solution for customer onboarding, credit risk assessment and underwriting, we take the trust and assurance in bank-verified identities and real-time financial profiles and match it with credit and bureau data, so companies can make more accurate and instant decisions. This is a real-world example of bank driven identity in action.
This combination of Bank Verified Identities (through a consumer's secure bank login) and Live Financial data (real time access to customers' 90 day bank statements) layered with analytics and intelligence has had a fantastic reception to date, especially in the areas of online lending and consumer engagement. All in a service that can take just half a day to get up and running, and only a couple of minutes for the consumer to go through, is already being described as a global disruptor.
It's this disruption, this impact and the chance to fundamentally change the way we interact online that is core to everything we do. If we can empower consumers, create a new level of trust online and make life easier then we have made the difference we want to make.
"Having a Digital Passport will let us travel the Internet with the trust, confidence and convenience that we need today. In many ways, it's the last frontier in Cyberspace."