The banking world is ahead of the game in Canada, with modern identity verification created with blockchain technology now available to customers of five Canadian banks, and soon to come to a further two. Sun Life Financial Inc. has also signed on to be the first North American insurer on the service.
Verified.Me is a digital identity system available to customers through an app, which provides secure access to banking and other services through digital confirmation of the user’s identity. The software has been in the making since October 2016 – developed by International Business Machines Corp. and the Linux Foundation; Canada’s biggest banks and Quebec-based Desjardins have also collaborated on the system, alongside telecom companies, Equifax Inc., government agencies and Toronto-based financial-technology firm Prodigy Ventures Inc.
“Everything from being able to see your health records in a secure way, being able to open a new bank account, being able to get a new phone — all this stuff that’s so time-consuming and painful is going to get easier for consumers,” SecureKey CEO Greg Wolfond said in an interview. “They’re going to be able to share their data in a secure and trusted way, which they never really could before.”
The system is currently available to customers of the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Desjardins Group, and will soon be available to Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada.
Rami Thabet added that this ‘significant development’ marked a ‘ground-breaking’ collaboration for Canada. Indeed, data sharing between major insurance and banking industries is essential to improving the efficiency of the customer journey, while blockchain is highly effective in deterring fraud and ensuring personal security.