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  • Thierry Spanjaard

Consent is key

Never in a trade show dedicated to payments, like Money20/20 Europe, has there been so many ID specialists!

At a time when we are setting up future digital ID systems, especially when the EU is in the process of designing its European Digital Wallet, there is a lot of discussions on the junction between physical and digital ID. The European project is built on good intentions: give back to citizens control of each piece of their ID, not only their name, date of birth, etc.… but also of each of their attributes, such as vaccination certificates, degrees, driving license details, etc.… There was a consensus between different major players in the industry in a conference earlier today at Money20/20 Europe that the citizen / user / ID owner should remain in control. But consent is sometimes hard to define, in many situations we are ready to give away our privacy to get the services we want. For instance, when we need to find our way, we’re ready to give navigation systems access to any information they request. Also, if an insurance company gives its subscribers a discount against a disclosure of private information, many of us will be ready to give our consent.

There’s a time when we are all ready to give access to our ID: when we open a bank account, subscribe to a service, etc. The is the KYC step in an enrollment process. For the time being, before the inception of digital IDs, classical, physical IDs are used, read remotely and verified to complete a KYC step. While the sector was already active a couple years ago, the Covid crisis has made it boom, as more enrolments had to be completed remotely.

Money20/20 Europe sees a record participation of leading players in the ID field: IDNow, Regula, AriadNext, SK ID Solutions, Innovalor ReadID, OCR Labs, GetID, …. They all bring solutions to financial institutions to ensure a presented ID document is not forged and that the person presenting the ID document is its legitimate owner. Interestingly, no single solution has emerged yet in the ID document reading industry. Some players believe in reading physically a document, or a passport data page, while other will only read the NFC data in the document. Of course, all of them will match the data they get with a selfie of the person who is registering and perform liveness detections controls.

What is probably new, is the fact that banks understand not only that providing identity is not part of their role but controlling government-issued identity is far from their core expertise, leading them to rely on recognized specialists.

The hinge between ID and financial services is probably one of the most interesting aspects of the secure transactions industry now.

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