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Ten lessons learned about digital identity

The launch of FTT Identity 2021, brought together a global community to network, learn and debate all things digital identity.

Discussion sessions sparked conversations around inclusion, interoperability, privacy, customer experience, risk management and policy. Rockstar speakers shared their insights on the future of this exciting sector and provided inspiration to all those working to build digital identity within their own organisations.

Here are ten key identity lessons we learned throughout the day:

  1. Digital identity has become an unavoidable foundation for an increasing number of products and services.
    As demand has grown, so has the need for seamless, secure and effective identity solutions. As Andrew Bud, Chief Executive Officer of iProov noted in his opening keynote, “Good is no longer, good enough,” for digital identity technology.
  2. COVID-19 cemented a shift in user behaviour, accelerating the move towards digital identity.
    Consumers across all demographics have been willing to engage with remote identity proofing over the past year, even those who previously had a strong preference for in-person interaction. Financial institutions have also seen demand increase not only from retail users but commercial banking customers.
  3. The importance of consumer perspective cannot be overlooked.
    Customers are becoming more aware, they want to feel as though their personal data is secure, they want to feel like their privacy is being protected and they want to take ownership of their identities. The right balance of user experience and trust will drive adoption of digital identity.
  4. Never assume all customer’s needs, abilities and circumstances are the same.
    It is critical that identity systems are made inclusive to those who are at risk of being overlooked due to financial, social, educational or health related barriers. Solutions have to be built and tested from all angles to ensure they are free of bias and prejudice.
  5. There is more to be done in championing diversity in the digital identity sector.
    Positive action made during the hiring process, filters through to the design process and right through to the end product. Or in other words, as Diane Joyce, Executive at Women in Identity noted, “diverse teams build diverse systems”.
  6. We probably haven’t seen the last of the password just yet.
    The results of an audience poll revealed only 23% of respondents expect use of passwords to die out in the next 2 years. In fact, 42% indicated secret answers and knowledge-based measures will continue to play a key role in authentication, despite the advancement of digital ID. Effective password management will become critical, as consumers keep track of a growing number of online credentials.
  7. Identity systems exist in a constantly evolving threat landscape.
    Bad actors do not attack by chance, but by making use of the latest technologies at their disposal to exploit weakness. As Martin Ingram, NatWest Group noted, “lions don’t attack the prey at the front of the pack, but the vulnerable animal at the back.” Financial institutions can never entirely eradicate the threat of fraud, so must constantly adapt and make user of all data points at their disposal to assess and minimise risk.
  8. There is no singular, unanimous roadmap for the future of digital identity.
    There are several potential architectures for governing digital identities and there are strong arguments in favour of centralised, decentralised, federated and distributed models. The likelihood is that each will be prioritised at different times, in different regions and under different circumstances.
  9. International, cross-sector collaboration is crucial for future development.
    When asked, “Who will take the lead in building digital identity?”, 65% of attendees answered, not banks, not governments, not technology companies, but all of the above. The ability for individuals to use their digital identity across multiple services, in multiple locations is a key goal moving forward. Collaboration will be key to building the identity ecosystem of the future.
  10. Technology and innovation alone are not enough.
    Many valuable solutions have emerged across the identity landscape but ultimately, we need effective policies, standards and regulations to build a foundation for progress. Establishing frameworks to govern liability, privacy and interoperability will foster trust, as we determine the path forward for identity.

In case you missed, or want to recap, any of the sessions at FTT Identity 2021, all content will be available to watch on-demand very soon.

In the meantime, watch this space for updates on the launch of Future Identity, a portfolio of content and experiences exploring the evolution of digital identity in financial services, government, healthcare, retail, travel and other global sectors. We are excited to continue to grow this fantastic community.

To register you interest in getting involved with Future Identity, or for further information, please contact Laura Camplisson, Portfolio Manager – laura.camplisson@vcinnovations.co.uk