At the recent Singapore Fintech Festival (8-12 November), our own Tamara Al-Salim hosted and moderated a roundtable panel session on Enabling Borderless Digital Identity. The session explored the role of public/private partnerships in enabling an interoperable identity network. The session had great attendance and lively debates, the speakers were asked to share their views on Trust and how to innovate in a space of growing demand for interoperability and cross border recognition of people, credentials with self sovereignty when consenting for access to their information.
Common threads and differences were highlighted in the approach to delivering government identity projects, the approach of government mandate delivery seemed to attract higher adoption due to the requirements placed on accessing services by users, the pandemic has also played a catalyst role in this where the government ID systems were used for contact tracing or as a tool for two factor authentication. Other governments chose to partner with private entities to run the program and its delivery for the country, this created a start in single sectors, in this case finance before shifting wider as the benefits are realised; it allows a clear segregation in the delivery from being government lead, but also allows the trust levels to be higher for the end users as the service is government endorsed.
The speakers shared insights on the significant role Digital Identity plays in the growth of digital economy; it drives inclusion by supporting increased access to public and private services for people, businesses and public institutions; it creates trust in a non-physical environment to enable everyone to interact and transact in a way that's authenticated and safe; it drives open markets and creates level playing fields for innovation in the interest of growth and choice for users; and finally, it lowers the cost by finding ways of delivering digital services at scale.
With the right foundational digital infrastructure, digital identity, authentication and consent, interoperable payments and data exchange, we're able to create digital ID systems that can work across countries with trust, and limit independent verifications in the process.