How Verified.Me is Transforming How Canadian Businesses and Consumers Approach Digital Identity

As the number of digital products and services has exploded, managing our online identities has become increasingly onerous, problematic and risky. Consumers are being asked to create dedicated log-in and password credentials for dozens of accounts. Additionally, these consumers are also asked to supply a range of verification materials: Passports, selfies, copies of a driver's license etc.

Supplying this information to an ever-increasing number of product and service providers is a security nightmare. It's also no picnic in terms of user experience, as consumers often have to wait for days or weeks to have their information verified.

Fortunately, new digital identity solutions are being developed to provide consumers and businesses with a better -- and more secure way -- to help verify their identity online.

How Verified.Me Makes Digital Identity More Convenient and Secure​

Verified.Me is a service to help Canadians verify their identity in a digital way. The Verified.Me network, which went live in May, 2019, was developed by SecureKey Technologies with support from Prodigy Labs, a preferred technology partner.

Verified.Me was designed to gain immediate market traction through partnerships with seven of the largest financial institutions in Canada. Verified.Me is available via mobile app to customers of RBC, TD Bank, Scotiabank, CIBC and Desjardins Group.

BMO and National Bank of Canada will join the Verified.Me network later this year.

How the Verified.Me Network Works

Verified.Me is designed to make the process of opening new bank accounts, signing up with telcos, registering for utilities etc. easier and more secure by collecting, collating and verifying data from a network of trusted sources. Banks, credit agencies, telecoms and other network participants will share data, allowing Verified.Me users to confirm their identity through a single digital ID associated with the Verified.Me network.

Instead of sharing personal information with dozens of service providers through the creation of dozens of digital IDs, consumers can instead use a single digital ID associated with a highly secure network. This will dramatically limit oversharing of personal information; instead of having sensitive identity data strewn across numerous servers hosted by a variety of service providers, identity will be verified by Verified.Me.

This system means that Verified.Me users are in control of the information they share at all times. For example, when a user signs up for a service using Verified.Me, they control which network participants to connect with and when, where and why they use their personal information. This means their information is only shared with their consent for a specific purpose.

While consumers can tap into the benefits of Verified.Me through their existing bank relationship, businesses can also leverage the network to access their own competitive advantages. Businesses will be able to use the Verified.Me network to offer streamlined, efficient and effective client services and onboarding for their customers.

The network is supported by blockchain technology, which is fast-evolving to become the gold standard in data security. Verified.Me transactions (rather than personal data) will be recorded on the blockchain, providing an immutable and highly secure record.

Digital Identity Trends in Canada

The development of consumer digital ID networks fits within larger trends toward digitalization and innovation within the Canadian financial services industry. The Canadian Bankers Association has publicly advocated for the creation of a comprehensive digital ID network as the country works to modernize its payments system.

The Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), which was created by the federal government, is also working to help create innovative new approaches to digital identity. Public and private sector groups working within the DIACC laid the groundwork for this by creating the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF). The PCTF is a model for collaborative efforts between government and private industry to safeguard digital identity and develop standardized processes and practices within the field.

Ultimately, by helping develop a scalable, robust and secure digital identity ecosystem, DIACC aims not only to provide Canadians with greater trust and security, but to also unlock economic opportunities and cost decreases associated with a modern, efficient and digitally-focused payments system.

Verified.Me isn't the only digital ID solution in the Canadian market. Other examples include offerings from EnStream, a collaboration between Bell, Rogers and Telus, uses real-time information about mobile subscribers to validate identities.

Benefits to Companies Using Verified.Me

Enterprise-level customers stand to realize a variety of significant benefits by implementing Verified.Me. By providing a simple and secure method for allowing their customers verify their identity, enterprises can:

  • Increase conversions and profitability by reducing the friction associated with ID verification.
  • Reduce abandonment rates with a better UX.
  • Reduce errors and misidentifications.
  • Validate customer eligibility for services in a simple way.
  • Lower costs.


Verified.Me Implementation Challenges

Implementation of Verified.Me does require businesses to spend time navigating some complex integrations. In many cases, it makes sense for businesses to find a third-party partner with digital identity expertise to help smooth this transition.

Partnering with a preferred development partner of Verified.Me (such as Prodigy Labs) can help enterprise customers connect to the network in the fastest and easiest way possible, allowing them to jumpstart the market opportunity while reducing the risk of entry.

The Takeaway

The proliferation of digital services and the need for more secure and efficient payment systems have set the table for the first comprehensive digital identity solutions. The cooperative data sharing model used by Verified.Me, EnStream and other networks allows consumers and businesses to benefit from greater efficiency, while also introducing substantial new security improvements.

Enterprises that need assistance with integrating Verified.Me should reach out to a third-party development partner with demonstrated expertise -- preferably a partner with a longstanding relationship with the Verified.Me network.