SecureKey Launches Online Identification Service Supported by Canada's Big Banks



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With the buy-in of all of Canada's largest banks, Toronto-based SecureKey Technologies Inc. is launching a service that it hopes will become a qualifying passport for the most important consumer transactions online.

And SecureKey CEO Greg Wolfond has suggested that his Verified.me platform may receive government cooperation to use facial recognition technology along with driver's licenses, passports, and other official documents.

All of this is necessary because Verified.me is meant to serve as a kind of secure digital camera to share important financial and health information online, offering strict assurances that you really are who you say you are.

Behind the scenes, the entire system runs in a private blockchain for added security.

SecureKey has some powerful supporters. The company received investments from RBC, TD, CIBC, BMO, Scotiabank, National Bank and Desjardins, along with Telus and Rogers.

In addition, earlier this year, Canadian Press reported that the Canadian Revenue Agency works with SecureKey to facilitate the logon of government-based Internet services.

The idea is that you install the application on your phone and then log on to the service for the first time using the account number and password of the bank that you use for online banking. When you have a Verified.me account linked to your bank account, you can link other services – the Sun Life Financial insurer and the Equifax credit monitoring agency are the first partners.

Eventually the idea is that there will be many more partners, so if you need to share specific financial information, you can send them through Verified.me with the assurance that you are only sharing the specific information you are authorizing to share. and everything is happening safely.

Theoretically, any situation where you need to go to a physical location – such as a bank branch or a point of sale from a telecommunications company – to show your identity and prove that you are who you say you are, can be done online in the future , using Verified .mim

CEO of SecureKey, Greg Wolfond

Brochure / Archive

Wolfond used the example of getting an apartment, and the landlord needs to see a credit note and proof of employment. Instead of physically gathering paper documents, a person could just link the landlord to Verified.me and agree to share this specific information in one go.

Verified.me will receive a fee whenever someone makes this kind of information request through the service.

When the service is launched for customers on May 1, customers with CIBC, Desjardins, RBC, Scotiabank and TD will be able to create a service account. The BMO and the National Bank will be launched later this year.

Your bank already knows that you are who you say you are and so Verified.me is taking advantage of this knowledge.

Likewise, the service will eventually use other means, including facial recognition.

"We need the teles to participate in order to know what the right device is, we need governments to share (information they show)," Hello, Greg matches the face in the driver's license, "said Wolfond.

In a follow-up email with SecureKey's vice president of marketing and communications, Sarah Douglas, she confirmed that facial recognition will be part of the service.

"Verified. Me uses digital recognition and fingerprint in conjunction with banking applications today," Douglas said in an e-mail. "The ability to combine a face and make vividness detection against a government document such as a driver's license, passport or health card is coming later this year and is an important capability for the service."

We're not Facebook at all … We do not track you

SecureKey is not the only company active in the online identity space. For example, today you can sign in to multiple sites using your Google account or your Facebook login.

But with the buy-in of banks and telecommunications, in addition to guarantees of privacy and security, they hope to differentiate themselves.

"We're not Facebook at all, where I really do not understand what I'm consenting to and who's getting my data. We're trying not to do that, "Wolfond said.

"They're tracking where you're going and they're collecting insights, which can generate revenue later, on all of those services, we do not track you."

Rizwan Khalfan, TD's executive vice president, said that investing in SecureKey and supporting the service is to offer customers more options for transacting online, but it's also about owning the digital identity market.

"This is a new space, you know, any for, you know, different players," he said.

"We believe that in partnership with security, in partnership with banks, in partnership with government and other agents – trusted third parties – we can actually take up this space and do a better job, instead of giving it to another player or other industry. "

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