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Five Canadian banks are now offering the blockchain-based identification system Verified.Me developed by SecureKey Technologies and available through a smartphone app. The app will allow customers to verify their identity to the bank in a safe and secure way.
SecureKey Technologies is an identity and authentication tech startup company that uses blockchain technology and collaborations with major enterprises like IBM to develop leading identification software.
The identity system used by the five Canadian banks is called Verified.Me and is now available for all Canadian customers through a smartphone app. The five banks offering the blockchain-based digital verification are Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Desjardins Group. Other banks are hoping to deploy the app for their customers in the near future, including Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada. There is also interest in the technology from south of the border with US company Sun Life Financial Inc. reportedly signed to be the first North American insurer to use the service.
SecureKey Chief Executive Officer Greg Wolfond said:
“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,
“They’re going to be able to share their data in a secure and trusted way, which they never really could before.”
This is a move welcomed by The Canadian Bankers Association who has been calling for a more streamlined and simplified way of verification in the form of digital IDs. This is something banks all over the world are struggling with. The paper-based system of old is slow, cumbersome, and highly inconvenient for most people.
Vice President of digital products at Royal Bank Rami Thabet called the technology “groundbreaking” and added, “What is quite compelling here is the fundamental unlocking of client value by simplifying the verification of personal information safely, securely and in a streamlined manner.”
We are likely to see these types of digital and blockchain-based verification systems spread throughout the world and probably rapidly. People care about security and privacy when it comes to their financial data, and most people equate blockchain with both of those concepts. It could also be argued that people are more about being inconvenienced than they do about privacy and security and will always take the quickest and most painless route.