Despite banks playing a fundamental enabling role in the development of national digital ID schemes to date, their uniquely strong position in the field is under increasing threat from web giants and other globally networked firms. This is the view expressed by Mobey Forum’s Digital ID Expert Group in a new research report launched today.
The report, entitled How to Make Digital Identity a Success: Insights and Learnings from Seven Digital ID Schemes, is the product of an in-depth, collaborative study conducted in 2019 with seven digital ID schemes across Europe and North America. The report presents a comparative overview of the different models being applied around the world and provides insights, and comments for banks and financial institutions on their evolution, together with a range of other factors such as their varying models and management, technical underpinnings and services they provide to users.
“As our collective reliance on technology continues to grow so too does our need to establish robust, secure and user-friendly ways of verifying our individual identities, digitally,” comments Jukka Yliuntinen, co-chair of the Digital ID Expert Group, Mobey Forum. “Banks have mastered the ability to operate at scale in highly regulated environments, under conditions that require rigorous and stringent security and identity verification procedures. This has enabled them to play a key role in the evolution of national digital ID schemes and also makes them prime candidates to be future guardians of digital identities, supporting services that stretch far beyond banking and generating new revenues as a result. This advantageous position could change quickly, however, as other powerful networked stakeholders move into the space. Banks must be aware that the window of opportunity to adopt these critical roles may be closing, perhaps faster than they think.”
Launched in a new interactive, all-digital format, the How to Make Digital Identity a Success report gives banks and other stakeholders a chance to refer to a detailed comparison of Alastria, e-Estonia, Itsme, NemID, BankID, Verimi and Verified.Me.
“Like in so many other industries, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Alibaba/Alipay and other hugely powerful digital players have serious potential to upend the global market for digital ID,” adds Elina Mattila, Executive Director, Mobey Forum. “That said, the success of a digital ID scheme is rooted in trust and collaboration - between users, governments and regulators, telcos, banks and other key service providers. While they can move quickly and at scale, the ‘GAFAs’ are unlikely to be afforded bank-beating collaborative relationships with all of these stakeholders any time soon.”
“This collaborative model is here to stay,” adds Mattila. “It’s only through close collaboration that banks can both address the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by digital identity.”
The report also charts the opportunities and challenges posed by cross-border integration of digital ID schemes and examines the role that regulation can play to assist. It contends that, as digital ID schemes continue to mature, the issue of cross-border interoperability will gather momentum and, while regulation can provide the framework for interoperability, much work remains before the schemes can be harmonised to enable a seamless flow of digital identity usage over the borders.