For many, the passport has long been the apex of personal identity, a safely guarded document which only ever sees the light of day at airport check-in lounges and immigration control. But the advent of remote banking has driven a new type of passport use: that of proving your identity remotely, often by matching the picture on your passport with a live selfie.
This form of Identity Verification or (IDv) has expanded further into online services such as crypto currency exchanges, age verification websites and even dating and delivery apps.
But is the sharing of government ID’s such as passports really an advantage to consumers or does it just assist businesses in speeding up their own processes and protecting their interests?
Further still, is the sharing of such sensitive information across the internet, often unsecured, creating a new gold-rush for criminality and fraud?
There is little doubt that being able to prove your identity remotely is of great convenience when trying to access financial services, adult content or purchase age restricted items such as alcohol.
The problem seems to be that you have to repeat the same process for every provider, sending your personal details to websites which in many cases such as crypto currency exchanges or pay-to-play games can often be run by nefarious characters.
The answer to these security and administrative problems is called “on the edge” a concept which comes from the emergence of another new innovation, that of the digital wallet.
A digital wallet is a phone app which encrypts paper documents and cards replacing the traditional “pocket wallet”, the items you would have traditionally carried such as loyalty and bank cards are all ‘digitized’ and stored on the phone wallet so that you never forget where you left them!
The world’s most loved digital wallet (by app store rating) is Folio (www.folio.id). They have taken this concept further and now enable you to store government IDs such as driving licence and passports. It’s this new feature that is driving the transformation of how we share our personal information online.
With your personal documents being stored on-the-edge, i.e not in the cloud or on a server in the hands of a third party but on your own phone. You are able to retain the ownership of these documents and decide what information you want to share and with whom, without necessarily having to share the entire document.
Giving you the freedom to share information with new sites without compromising your security or privacy.
For instance you may want to prove your legal age when signing up to a dating app or having a case of wine delivered to your home and rather than sharing the entire document with the provider you can simply share your age from the Folio App.
The very act of sharing from the App provides verification that you are the required age or older. The provider can trust that the data received from Folio has the corresponding paperwork (i.e. passport with a date of birth) verifying your age for this service.
Using this approach the provider no longer has to store personal information, which would have significant regulatory, storage and legal ramifications to them, yet they are still able to act with certainty that their customer is of legal age.
Another use case for this type of on-the-edge transaction is purchasing festival tickets. Festival organizers want to reduce ticket touting, fraud and unidentified attendees, so they often require a photo ID to associate with the festival ticket when it’s being purchased.
The wallet owner simply gives permission to share, age, name and a photograph without ever having to email a copy of their driving license or passport. This process is fast and frictionless and benefits all the parties involved. When the festival goer arrives at the event, they can simply show the attendant the corresponding ID in their digital wallet to match against the ticket record. The festival organizers likewise, do not have the burden of storing sensitive private documents such as copies of passports.
The convenience, security and privacy that accompanies on-the-edge data sharing is driving trust and efficiency into remote transactions and is set to move the internet even closer to a safer medium of exchange in areas traditionally restricted to face to face transactions.
Search “Folio wallet” on your app store, to start your own document storage strategy today.