Our company mission is to create an open world where identity is the key to access. Over the coming years, everything you access online, from opening a bank account, to checking into a hotel or ordering prescription drugs will be based on your ability to easily prove your legal identity. We are standardizing that industry by helping everyone prove their legal identity with just a photo of their government issued ID and a selfie.
2. Why is trustworthy digital identity critical for existing and emerging markets?
Identity theft is the largest and fastest-growing crime in the world. That is holding back human progress, which has always been based on our ability to build trust and cooperate. Roughly 5 per cent of global GDP, or $2 trillion is laundered money which is used for human trafficking, drug trafficking and terrorist activity. Less than 1 per cent of this is seized by authorities.
Trust is needed for any transaction to work. The oldest method of building trust is to meet others face to face – but that’s not scalable. More recently, our global economy has been underpinned by the credit bureaus – but since the recent breaches (e.g., Desjardins), this method no longer offers any security. The credit bureaus also exclude half the world’s adult population who are underbanked or unbanked.
It is time to move away from the centralised credit bureau model, to a decentralised portable identity model where consumers own and control their digital identity and instead of taking hours to verify their identity, the process takes 30 seconds. Onfido is actively working on making this a reality. For example, we are part of the UK’s FCA sandbox, looking to create and validate standards around decentralized identity, we are a founding partner of the Better Identity Coalition and most recently, we launched a new identity working group with the FIDO Alliance.
3. What role does Canada have to play as a leader in the space?
When it comes to spearheading a decentralized identity, Canada is really leading the way. The news of SecureKey partnering with five mainstream Canadian banks to offer an “open banking” approach of securely sharing customer data, is years ahead of other countries. Soon, Canadians with bank accounts from these five banks will have the benefit of being able to securely share their data in order to see their health records, open a new bank account, or get a new mobile phone. This not only makes it easier for consumers to share their data, but unlocks customer value for service providers.
As Canada continues to test and set the tone and guard rails for this technology, other countries will follow.
4. Why did Onfido join the DIACC?
Onfido wants to be an enabler in the portable identity space. This means partnering and helping as many organizations as possible pursue decentralized identity models and put them into practice. By joining the DIACC, we are well placed to learn and contribute from leaders in this space.
5. What else should we know about Onfido?
We work with 1,500 companies spanning a number of industries, including financial services, travel, insurance, healthcare and gaming. Companies wishing to know more about what we do should go to our website: onfido.com, join one of our demos or give us a call. We are happy to help!