Major Canadian Banks Choose Blockchain Solution for Identity Verification

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SecureKey Technologies, the company behind the blockchain-powered Verified.Me identity verification system is now available for consumers of a number of major Canadian Banks including CIBC, Desjardins, RBC, Scotiabank and TD – with BMO Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada to launch soon and un Life Financial Inc. has signed on as an early adopter and the first North American insurer on the service. 

Canadian customers and members of these financial institutions are now able to use Verified.Me to help verify their identities online with the services they need in a privacy-enhanced and secure way.

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“This announcement marks the first time that consumers are officially able to access the Verified.Me application and gain greater control over their digital identities,” said Greg Wolfond, Founder and CEO, SecureKey Technologies. “Digital identity is one of the most enduring challenges of our time, and having the opportunity to showcase how a network of cross-industry organizations can come together to build a solution by and for consumers is an honour. We are excited to bring this first-of-its-kind network to market and look forward to its expansion as new participants join our service.”

“As Canadians increasingly turn to digital channels, it’s important to continue to develop solutions that create a more seamless way for Canadians to get access to the products and services they need,” said Brett Pitts, Chief Digital Officer, BMO Financial Group. “With Verified.Me, Canadians can now have an easier and more secure way to share their personal information, and it puts them in control to share that information when and how they want.”

This approach to digital identity brings together the best capabilities of numerous parties including financial services, telecommunications and insurance providers, to create a holistic approach to digital identity that will protect the interests of consumers and businesses as they participate in today’s digital economy. Verified.Me is a digital identity and attribute sharing network, built on top of blockchain technology, that simplifies the sharing of personal information to help with identity verification in a safe way, allowing consumers to quickly and securely share information with participating service providers, while enabling businesses to achieve more streamlined, effective and cost-efficient client services and onboarding. 

“This initiative will play a critical role in further meeting consumer expectations for privacy and trust when transacting digitally,” said Greg Elcich, Vice President Enterprise Innovation, CIBC. “We are proud to be part of this effort and are looking forward to the enhanced experiences and benefits for CIBC clients.” 

“The issues with identity today would be impossible to tackle without strong industry collaboration,” said Yann Jodoin, Head of Payments and Everyday Banking, Desjardins. “For us, the digital shift is about more than just technology – it’s a way of offering services designed to meet the needs and expectations of our members and clients. It’s an opportunity to make choices that will add value to them – and for society. By taking a network approach with Verified.Me, we provide our members with stronger control over their information and the ability to use that information where and when they want, with peace of mind thanks to improved privacy and security.” 

“Verified.Me uses blockchain technology to make the online identification process faster, more private and more secure for consumers,” said Lionel Pimpin, Senior Vice President, Digital Channels, National Bank of Canada. “This solution aligns perfectly with National Bank’s commitment to providing a simple and unified digital experience.” 

“Security and trust are two expectations that consumers have when it comes to their personal information and digital identity. Creating seamless and convenient experiences that consumers have come to expect, based on these imperatives of security and trust, are fundamental to meeting their evolving digital needs,” said Peter Tilton, Senior Vice President, Digital, RBC. “The collaboration between industry partners to launch Verified.Me is a testament to our collective focus on the consumer as we strive to bring incremental value to their everyday digital interactions.” 

“Verified.Me has been a combined effort of several network participants’ dedication, openness and innovative thinking,” said Katie Greenberg, Vice President, Digital Products and Retail Payments, Scotiabank. “We are entering a new era in which Canadians can clearly and confidently assert when, why and with whom their digital identity assets are shared. We are eager to offer this solution to our customers and look forward to setting the gold standard of digital identity worldwide.” 

“By participating in SecureKey’s new Verified.Me service, we are putting technology to work for our customers to help them access the services they need in a digital world,” said Rizwan Khalfan, EVP and Chief Digital and Payments Officer, TD. “We are proud to be one of the first to offer our customers a simpler, more secure way to share their information in order to transact online.” 

“The launch of Verified.Me is an exciting step towards making it easier for our Clients to do business with us, and ensuring that their access to Sun Life services is safe and secure,” said Mark Saunders, Executive Vice-President and Chief Information Officer, Sun Life. “To be able to bring this to market and provide Canadians with more control over their digital identities speaks to the importance of industry partnerships and collaboration to spark innovation.” 

Along with Canada’s major financial institutions, a number of key digital identity network participants and innovation partners have helped to bring Verified.Me to market, including the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), Global Privacy and Security by Design, EnStream, Equifax, IBM and Prodigy Labs. Verified.Me is built on top of the IBM Blockchain Platform which is based on Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric v1.2, and will be interoperable with Hyperledger Indy projects. 

The Verified.Me app is available to iOS and Android mobile phone users through the App Store and Google Play. 

Verified.Me, by SecureKey Technologies Inc., is a new Canadian service to help you verify your identity, so you can get things done fast online, in person and on the phone. Verified.Me helps you verify your identity quickly and securely from any iOS or Android smartphone, using personal information that you consent to share from your Connections, such as your financial institution. You always stay in control by choosing when to share your information and with whom, reducing unnecessary oversharing of personal information in order to access the services you want. The Verified.Me service is protected with strong security protocols to protect personal information from being identified, accessed or misused. Verified.Me uses blockchain technology to securely and privately transfer your personal information to trusted network participants, giving you easy access to the services you want, when you want them. Learn more at www.verified.me. 

SecureKey is a leading identity and authentication provider that simplifies consumer access to online services and applications. SecureKey enables a next generation privacy-enhancing identity and authentication network for connecting people to online services using a digital credential they already have and trust. SecureKey is headquartered in Toronto, with offices in San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.securekey.com and www.verified.me. 

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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