Initial pilot activities launched in Australia. Additional partnerships and pilots will be introduced across a number of markets throughout 2020.
Mastercard marked the first tests of a new digital service that „has the potential to verify a person’s identity immediately, safely and securely in both the digital and the physical world”, according to a press release.
The initial in-market pilot will take place in Australia through two separate efforts with Australia Post and Deakin University.
„The pilot program will test a new way for people to prove their identity without having to carry multiple documents. Instead, the model allows the data to sit with its rightful owner – the user. It will activate a distributed model that blends information stored on an individual’s mobile device and verified by additional reference points, such as an individual’s bank or participating government agencies . It eliminates the need for a centralized identity database.”, Mastercard said.
Mastercard’s consumer-centric approach was outlined in a Principles of Digital Identity vision paper earlier this year and prioritizes privacy-by-design.
The initial phase of the pilot with Deakin University featured student volunteers testing an identity verification process for student registration and digital exams at the Burwood and Geelong campuses in Victoria.
To support its identity efforts, Mastercard has entered into a separate partnership with Australia Post to integrate the agency’s existing Digital iD solution and expand the ability for Australians to identify themselves easily when accessing services.
“Our increasingly digital life – the way we transact and interact – has challenged our traditional notions of identity, trust and privacy. We need a new model,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence for Mastercard. “We believe that this starts with a commitment to the responsible handling of personal information, giving consumers control over which data is used and how it is used to verify their identity.”
„Though Libra has met with fierce resistance from central banks and supervisory authorities and might never see the light of day, in many other cases tech firms (both start-ups and established big players) have successfully captured bits and pieces of universal banks’ traditional value chain. This trend may only intensify in the coming years. In this environment, European banks remain squeezed.”