Canadian banking customers are now able to verify their identity via a new blockchain-based mobile application.
The Verified.me digital identity verification platform was launched today and will allow clients of CIBC, Desjardins, RBC, Scotiabank and TD to confirm their identities online. Other involved entities include Sun Life Financial, Equifax, and Gemalto and the BMO Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada are set to launch in due course.
According to the Verified.me site, the app allows the quick and secure verification of identity via an iOS or Android smartphone. It allows personal information that has already been verified in person by their bank, to be shared with other banking entities, as long as permission has been given by the individual.
The users personal information is encrypted and can then be shared in real-time with Connections as and when necessary, without being physically stored on the app. The app uses strong security protocols to protect personal information, and at no time, ever has access to the credentials a client uses to log into their financial institution.
The aim of the new platform is to significantly speed up the process of identity checks, without needing to visit banks in person. It is expected that it will make the onboarding process for financial services companies, quicker, easier, and more efficient. It will also be completely free of charge to both download, and use.
The brainchild of SecureKey Technologies, the Verified.me platform was developed in conjunction with IBM and is built on top of the IBM blockchain platform which utilises Hyperledger Fabric 1.2.
CEO of SecureKey Technologies, Greg Wolfond said in a statement: “Digital identity is one of the most enduring challenges of our time, and having the opportunity to showcase how a network of cross-industry organizations can come together to build a solution by and for consumers is an honour.”
He added: “We are excited to bring this first- of-its-kind network to market and look forward to its expansion as new participants join our service.”
A spokesperson from the Bank of Montreal, Brett Pitts explained that as Canadians are becoming increasingly tech savvy, it becomes more important to develop solutions that create seamless ways for them to access the products that they need.
“With Verified.Me, Canadians can now have an easier and more secure way to share their personal information, and it puts them in control to share that information when and how they want.”
When the project first began back in October 2016, BMO, Desjardins, RBC, Scotiabank, TD, and CIBC pooled together a CA$ 27 million investment into SecureKey to help get the project off the ground.
The fact that six of Canada’s leading financial institutions have put their name to a blockchain-based project is highly significant. It demonstrates growing trust in the sector, as well as the widespread uses of blockchain technology in everyday life.