The big news is that Mastercard made good on its Digital ID and Self Sovereign Identity vision paper published last March by announcing a pilot implementation in Australia. Combining digital identity onboarding with authentication, the Mastercard pilot puts them on course to compete with the Sovrin Network and other solutions built on the Hyperledger Indy codebase (described in Mercator reports here and here) as well as other smaller initiatives:
“Mastercard has chosen Australia as the launch market for its digital identity platform, announcing two trials with Australia Post and Deakin University.
The company said its new digital service has the potential to verify a person’s identity immediately, safely, and securely in both the digital and the physical world.
“Our increasingly digital life — the way we transact and interact — has challenged our traditional notions of identity, trust, and privacy. We need a new model,” president of cyber and intelligence for Mastercard Ajay Bhalla said.
“We believe that this starts with a commitment to the responsible handling of personal information, giving consumers control over which data is used and how it is used to verify their identity.”
Mastercard said its digital ID model allows the data to sit with the user.
As the company explained, it will activate a “distributed model” — information stored on an individual’s mobile device and verified by additional reference points, such as an individual’s bank or participating government agencies.
It said this method eliminates the need for a centralised identity database.”
Initially Mastercard announced it would be implementing its identity vision with Microsoft technology but there is no indication that Microsoft is involved in the Australian implementation. As giants such as IBM, MasterCard and Microsoft start to implement self sovereign visions on different technology it forces a buyers dilemma – which solution do I adopt? That’s no small decision when it’s your ability to identify yourself that’s at risk!
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group