After years of talk about reusable identity, 2023 was when it finally broke into the mainstream with the world’s biggest companies and governments all making significant moves in the past year. At Trinsic, we’re deeply focused on driving adoption of verifiable credentials and user-controlled identity, so we’re keeping a close watch on what kind of digital identity products are getting real world adoption.
Defining the terms we use in the reusable ID grid
In this post, we’ll break down eleven of the biggest announcements from this year and map them onto a 2×2 grid to create four general buckets of reusable identity products. We’ll use these four terms to create each section of the grid.
- “Proprietary” = closed, non-standardized ecosystems.
- “Standards-driven” = using a standard either influenced heavily by government (like ISO mDLs) or determined by industry (like verifiable credentials). Standards can have varying levels of openness or adoption.
- “Private sector” = adoption is driven by implementations in private sector use cases like fintech onboarding, or age verification.
- “Government-driven” = adoption is driven by governments from legislation related to digital ID, to governments becoming issuers of mobile drivers licenses, to governments choosing trusted vendors for online services or airport security.
Reusable ID announcements highlighted in our e-book
“Until now identity verification has digitized physical processes, but those processes haven’t changed. We’re still handing our identity over to be checked every time we access a new service. This partnership will change that — giving users control and organizations greater confidence in who their customers are,” said Mike Tuchen, CEO of Onfido.
“We know people are frustrated by having to manage passwords and to re-prove who they are at each website they visit. ID.me is designed to be the last login you need to create and manage, and the last identity verification you complete. Your data should move with you across the internet.” — Blake Hall, co-founder and CEO of ID.me.
“Now you can add a digital state ID or driver’s license to your Android phone. It’s an easy, secure way to store and show your ID.”
“Apps that require age or identity verification can use the Verify with Wallet API to quickly and securely verify a person’s information using their digital driver’s license or state ID stored in Apple Wallet.”
“Today, we’re introducing an all-new identity verification experience that allows consumers to fast track verifications across Plaid-powered apps and services. Just as commerce providers have delivered on the promise of “one-click” checkout, Plaid is creating the standard for a “verify once, verify everywhere” experience that allows for faster verification while remaining KYC compliant for digital finance.”
“CLEAR’s expanded identity platform comes from acquiring Sora ID, who developed this KYC-compliant technology that is transferable across financial institutions. This creates a unique, reusable experience.”
“Lloyds Bank Smart ID is a reusable Digital ID which transforms the way people prove their age and identity. It allows people to share specific information with businesses who request it – such as name, date of birth or an ‘over 18’ proof of age – without having to show physical identity documents or share an excessive amount of personal data.”
Reusable ID announcements since October 17, 2023
“The concept of reusable identities has been around for a while. But to date, no reusable identity solution has succeeded in comprehensively addressing companies’ ever-evolving risk and compliance requirements with end users’ need for privacy and security,” said Rick Song, CEO, Persona. “With Reusable Personas, companies now have a flexible, dynamic solution that frees them from having to accept a decision made only with the information stored on a reusable identity.”
“The company’s Reusable Digital ID solution creates digital credentials that are verifiable, tamper-proof, and easily shared across platforms, ensuring seamless user experiences while prioritizing data protection.”
Instnt launches Multipass: An insured decentralized Consumer Identity for one-click onboarding and passwordless authentication
“Built on open standards including Verifiable Credentials and Decentralized ID, Multipasses avoid vendor lock-in with a truly portable, decentralized, self-sovereign identity that includes strong trust, level of assurance, and KYC bindings for better identity governance and continuous authentication. Multipasses also come with Instnt’s unique fraud loss liability protection for businesses that accept them, up to $100MM per year, so they can onboard more good customers without friction or fraud losses.”
Under the new law, member states will offer citizens and businesses digital wallets that will be able to link their national digital identities with proof of other personal attributes (e.g., driving licence, diplomas, bank account). Citizens will be able to prove their identity and share electronic documents from their digital wallets with a click of a button on their mobile phone.
A vast world of reusable ID products
There are countless other reusable ID products that we could have included on this list from companies like , , , , , and many more. (We’ve had each of those companies on our in the last few months!) This post is focused on established companies who are making moves into reusable identity as opposed to upstarts—as their existing distribution makes the announcements noteworthy from a potential adoption perspective.
Reusable ID looking forward into 2024
While closed ecosystems can drive adoption in the short term, proprietary schemes are unlikely to be a winning solution. And while Apple and Google wallets incorporating mobile driver’s licenses to their wallets is certainly compelling, there are genuine privacy and standardization concerns that still need to be worked through.
We are most excited about standards-driven schemes that are finding traction in the private sector through bottoms-up adoption. Government-driven initiatives will take longer but carry more sway so we’re keeping them on our radar, also. At Trinsic we are built with standards at our core—and while we’re partial to verifiable credentials for their pragmatic benefits and privacy-preserving capabilities, we’re agnostic to any particular tech stack or interoperability profile.
We’re not sure what the future holds, but given how much changed in 2023, the next year is sure to be full of innovation in the identity space. If you’d like to read more of our thoughts about the future of identity, remember to download our e-book which has now been updated with the latest announcements from the last month.