Banks in Canada are making a big step towards modernising identity verification by employing a blockchain-based user identification system. This major milestone will give consumers an easy way to share their personal information.
Five major Canadian banks have adopted the system. Its launch comes just three months after the Canadian Bankers Association called for the nation to embrace blockchain and biometrics in digital identification.
The time is right for a digital identity solution because of the threatening cyber environment. With many data breaches leading to stolen passwords and hijacked credentials, businesses are starting to lose faith that they really know the identity of their customers. The issues with identity today will be impossible to tackle without strong industry collaboration.
Banks play a key role in this identity authentication service, requiring that users sign-in with their online banking credentials. The move will help the banks take a big step forward in identity verification, using blockchain technology to give customers the ability to prove their identity digitally so they can confidently access their accounts.
In Canada, this blockchain breakthrough is backed by Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Scotiabank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Desjardins Group, with Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada set to join the supporting legion soon.
Canadian customers and members of these five banks can now use Verified.Me to securely verify their identities online for the services they need. The Verified.Me app is currently available on both iOS and Android phones. It is developed by Toronto-based SecureKey Technologies and allows individuals to provide proof of identity by using the information they’ve already supplied to their financial institutions.
The system runs on a private blockchain and does not track customers’ locations despite holding their financial data. Users download the app and give their consent to allow connections, such as banks, to share encrypted personal information with third parties in real-time – but no data is held within the app.
With this project, Canada’s banking sector is making a big leap in reinventing identity verification. It is a milestone in blockchain-based verification technology, as it is one of the first identity projects to be implemented by a large number of leading banks.
This forms the foundation for users to have more control over their personal data. The countrywide service is the most significant use case of blockchain seen in Canada yet. With the financial industry supporting the initiative at the beginning, and with the potential for more public and private sector partners in the future, we can confidently say that Canadian banks are moving to the forefront of blockchain adoption.
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