Swiss City Plans to Verify IDs Using Ethereum

The City of Zug has announced plans to launch a new Ethereum-based identity service in September 2017.

The Swiss city will offer digital identity services through a new app, connecting a person’s ID with a particular crypto-address. Thus, local citizens can register and are verified by city officials. On the technology side, the app will leverage the uPort identity platform created by Ethereum development community ConsenSys. Also involved on the development front is the Swiss startup ti&m and the Lucerne University of Economics.

Zug plans to hold a consultative vote on electronic ballot access, expected to take place in 2018. According to CoinDesk, the city has become a major hub for digital currency and blockchain startups, buoyed by a proactive government that has sought to attract more startups to Switzerland.

Source: The Paypers

HSBC, Barclays To Test Digital ID For Cross-Border Banking

HSBC and Barclays have joined several private and public sector organisations to test the use of digital ID in cross-border banking.

The group, which includes HSBC, Barclays, the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), Orange, OT-Morpho and the Open Identity Exchange (OIX UK), has launched the project by testing the opening of a bank account in the UK using a citizen’s digital identity from France. Additional funding for the project comes from European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility, a funding instrument to support the development of interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.

According to HSBC, the biggest effect that this project could have is to eliminate the need for a separate set of identification paperwork when opening a bank account in another country. A digital ID allows banks to share data and verify the client’s identity regardless of nationality.

The group will also use the mobile connect authentication process allowing the user to request a digital ID that is validated via eIDAS. These services will be developed and provided by Orange.

Source: The Paypers

Money 20/20 Europe: OT-Morpho Unveils Biometric Payment Card

“In a statement announcing the biometric smart card, OT-Morpho emphasized its use for everyday EMV payments…”

OT-Morpho has officially announced its biometric payment card solution at this week’s Money20/20 Europe expo.

Money20/20 Europe: OT-Morpho Unveils Biometric Payment CardThe card features NFC technology for contactless payments, and is EMV compliant. Of course, the standout feature is its embedded fingerprint sensor, with the card using OT-Morpho-developed algorithms to confirm the cardholder’s identity, and biometric data stored securely on the card.

In a statement announcing the biometric smart card, OT-Morpho emphasized its use for everyday EMV payments, but also noted that could be used to “help governments distribute social benefits, knowing that they reach no one else than the eligible (proof of life) citizen.”

The company did not mention the source of the card’s fingerprint sensors, but it’s worth noting that Mastercard’s trials of biometric payment cards earlier this year used a fingerprint sensor provided by IDEX together with technology supplied by Safran Identity & Security, which has since merged with Oberthur Technologies to form OT-Morpho.

Source: MobileID World

European eID Schemes Provide Only 69% of ID Information

A new research published by Signicat has shown that European eID schemes provide 69% of ID information needed to digitally apply for financial services.

According to “The Rise of Digital Identities” report, financial institutions are missing a vital link in the digital chain: onboarding. 40% of consumers have abandoned a bank sign up process because of the time and effort needed. This combined with the upcoming eIDAS regulation means that financial institutions need to be able to onboard customers 100% digitally.

In Belgium, for example, the eID covers all the necessary attributes but the scheme is only relevant in a consumer-to-government context. In The Netherlands, the bank-operated scheme offers the right coverage but, on its own, will not satisfy Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.

To fully verify a customer’s identity, financial institutions must supplement eID information from a variety of sources including national ID schemes, various digital assets and traditional ID documents such as passports. To succeed, institutions must plug the gaps and ensure they have access to the right information in the right geographies.

The paper was developed with research from Innopay, the payments, digital identity and e-business consultant. Innopay surveyed the onboarding landscape across Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK to look at KYC/AML requirements and how available eID schemes map to these requirements.

Banks Warned Over Misuse of Personal Information

Data

Businesses including banks and financial services institutions must build public confidence in their ability to store and protect Australian citizens’ personal information, according to the latest Unisys Security Index.

The research found that 58 per cent of Australians are extremely or very concerned about unauthorised access to or misuse of personal information, while a further 55 per cent are extremely or very concerned about other people obtaining or using their credit/debit card details.

The Unisys Security Index is a global study that measures the attitudes of Australians on a wide range of issues related to national, personal, financial and Internet security, and showed that many consumers are still concerned over identity and financial theft.

“In an era where data breaches have become part of the daily news cycle, consumer confidence in the ability of organisations, including banks and retail businesses, to protect their personal and financial data has eroded away,” says John Kendall, director for national and border security programs, Unisys.

UK experience

Research indertaken by RFi Group based on the UK experience of open banking found almost 60 per cent of UK consumers agreed that their privacy was more important to them than accessing better products and services.

“Here the banks have an advantage; on any given Sunday a consumer trusts their bank to hold and maintain the privacy and security of their personal information better than any other organisation,” RFi Group managing director of consulting Alan Shields said.

Closer to home, RFi Group research found that Australian banks are the most trusted institutions in terms of data security and privacy regardless of age – with banks outranking technology and even government agencies when it came to trust and privacy issues.

Shields acknowledged that banks with foresight are already preparing to operate in an open banking environment, with open APIs.

“On the consumer front, if we solve privacy and security concerns, then account aggregation is clearly an attractive driver of consent among younger consumers and it is here that the banks must carefully choose their positioning,” he said.

Data breach

However, there are plenty of examples of companies getting it wrong and less than 12 months ago Australia recorded its largest ever data breach when the Red Cross Blood Service lost over half a million personal and medical files of Australian citizens.

“High-profile security breaches have rattled the Australian public and highlighted the vulnerabilities in business implemented technology. Security breaches don’t just impact an organisation’s ability to deliver services, the negative repercussions of a data breach can change the way customers think about or trust the business,” added Kendall.

Previous Unisys research from 2011 revealed 85 per cent of Australians said that they would stop dealing with an organisation if their data was compromised.

“Banks, retailers and governments wanting to move more of their transactions online can use innovative security measures, such as multi-factor identification or biometric technology, as a point of difference and position themselves as safe organisations to do business with and regain consumer trust,” concluded Kendall.