Identity Tokens for Payments and Beyond

Identity Tokens for Payments and Beyond
By Victor Newsom

We are suffering an identity crisis. I do not mean questions of “Who am I?” or “What do I stand for?” No – we are suffering from increasing demands to confirm our identity for every financial interaction in compliance with regulations, operating rules, or to reduce fraud while the risks and consequences of identity theft continue to climb.

With trillions of dollars in flow and billions in deposits at stake – we have seen PCI, EMV, PSD, etc. rise to the challenge of securing and enabling payments from Amazon to Uber. Concurrent with this renaissance, governments are faced with fighting corruption, terrorism, a war on cash, managing real-time market liquidity and inflation, and protecting citizens from data breaches – all requiring more KYC than ever!

Where is the security framework for identity? GDPR is a courageous step towards accountability for use and storage of Personally Identifiable Information but it would seem more practical to avoid sharing it in the first place. We need the equivalent of Identity tokens. These will not be static elements or raw biometric profiles but dynamically derived values generated on demand that can be safely passed for authentication in the same manner that payment tokens are used. More – they can be leveraged differently just as we use a TaxID in one case or a postal code in another.

Vision: Picture walking through a venue while beaming an identity token acquired for the visit with privately directed sound beamed straight to your ears, smart wearable grids measuring your mood and energy, and AR glasses all delivering AI curated experiences and enabling transparent, irrevocable payment authorisations supported via interconnected FinTech systems. This is possible with current technology. With continued regulatory support and Fintech leadership – you could experience it by 2020!

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