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It's Time To Come Together For Digital ID

As the number of transactions we execute on the digital platforms increases, creating and verifying a digital ID for ourselves became more than essential. But how can a sustainable digital ID project be shaped?

When we accept the fact that scammers will never disappear, the need to cooperate for a safer space in the digital world makes more sense. The growth in digital commerce accelerated during the pandemic and caused the size of the target audience to grow as well. Taking this into consideration, the need to tackle the digital ID verification issue has become more urgent. Digital attack methods started to become more intelligent and successful. This causes the customers to become victims of data theft and feel powerless in preventing it. This concern contradicts the fact that customers expect convenience whenever or wherever they make digital transactions.

Just like in the real world, our behavior became one of the elements that make up our digital ID in the digital world. We started to use various methods such as biometric verification and electronic signature to verify our ID, while we only need a signature to do so in the physical world.

Today, we don't use mobile banking applications just to open accounts or shop online. We order take-out over banking applications, purchase cars over the digital world, and make hotel reservations over the internet. This process makes it necessary for our ID to be verified in the digital world and for the verification process to be at maximum security.

The corporations' verification systems check and verify the user's transactions thousands of times a day. Users grant approval for their IDs to be used in the digital world, and this verification is made dozens of times for each user. Since corporations need to know that these are real people who really want to make a transaction, and since people have to complete their transactions over the internet, the importance of digital IDs grows day by day.

Digital health IDs

Digital ID process isn't limited to payments. We're also given digital IDs by government authorities. Vaccine reports and QR codes that show the illness status are a part of millions of people's daily lives. With HES (Life Fits Into Home) codes, people become unable to use public transport or enter shopping malls if they're sick. Since digital IDs are becoming the focal point of their lives, the adaption process also gets faster.

Digital Covid-19 passports are even integrated into the blockchain in many places around the world. Blockchain technology's safety, inalterability, and visibility for all partners are creating a brand new dimension in creating a digital ID.

Facial recognition, voice recognition, recognition of shopping patterns

With the data collecting and transaction abilities that the technology brings, corporations are now developing algorithms to recognize users' faces, eyes, voices, and even behaviors. Facial recognition is at the top of the ID verification processes. People upload their selfies on the data processing application. This application meticulously analyses ears, eyes, lips, and thousands of different points that make up a person's face. Just like a digital "avatar" your face is then registered to that corporation's database. From that point on, the same face can be used for all your banking transactions or to manage all verification processes with just the camera of your smartphone.

E-Government, E-Signature, mobile signature

It's hard to decide what verification method to use for our digital IDs in order to live a fast, easy, and safe life in the digital world. In that regard, the existing alternatives in our country are providing us with digital safety; but making ID perception and management harder. Aside from the vast number of public applications, the ID verification methods they use (e-Government, e-Signature, Mobile Signature) turn our digital experiences into a long and painful process.

What is expected of the digital IDs

Different solutions and infrastructures are developed for digital ID all around the world. Our country has an average level of information on that regard. We must determine a national strategy on the matter and invite all parties in for an implementation plan. In any case, digital ID offers critical opportunities for governments, companies, individuals, and corporations to create value.

Some of the critical elements expected from digital IDs may include: being manageable by the ID owner, being accessible whenever and wherever, being permanent, having a wide coverage area, and being valid in all platforms, public or private. Based on the successful examples, design principles, and ID management models from around the world, it can be seen that public-private partnerships make it possible to manage digital ID services and make them sustainable. It's my biggest dream to see an example of collective work on this matter in our country, and for Turkey to become more digitalized.

Soner Canko

FinTech Istanbul Advisory Board Member, Digital CEO

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