Barclaycard's efforts to make passwords a thing of the past has led it to join an accelerator programme run by self-sovereign identity (SSI) specialist Evernym.
SSI is the concept of enabling people to securely store information about their digital identity, totally under their control, so that they can share verifiable proof of who they are, for life.
This, SSI proponents argue, has the potential to make the lives of users easier and more safe, replacing usernames and passwords, and even form-filling, forever.
Evernym's SSI answer, Sovrin, is a public utility, using distributed ledger technology to remove the need for centralised silos and ensure that users "own" their digital identity and have complete control.
The firm is running a 12-month accelerator which gives organisations access to tools, advice and ecosystems that let them experiment with SSI capabilities and bring them to market.
Among the first to sign up (alongside the Red Cross and Irish Life) is the Barclaycard Payment Solutions (BPS) innovation team. Explaining its interest in the technology, Barclaycard uses the example of autofill on a phone:
"You’re trying to pay for something but the details in the autofill tool are incorrect or need updating. By using your unique Sovrin identifier, you can share verified details and more - your card number, date of birth, passport number, address etc. - and automatically input those into the form.
"It’s a single-click system, totally under your control, which can significantly speed up customer transaction times and make life far easier and more convenient when buying online."
Ed Black, director, innovation, BPS, says: "Self-sovereign identity looks set to play an important role in the payments market of the not too distant future. And thanks to the partnership with Evernym, BPS customers will be well placed to benefit from this quick, easy and secure technology."
Evernym is far from the only player looking to promote the adoption of universal digital identities. Earlier this week, Mastercard and Microsoft set out plans to build a service that allows individuals to enter, control and share their identity data from their mobile devices.
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