Canadian mobile-based digital IDs expand access, application
Canadian digital ID providers Bluink and Liquid Avatar Technologies announced developments in their mobile apps that provide verification for their user. Bluink eased the process of receiving its self-sovereign ID eID-Me, and Liquid Avatar says it completed a pilot project with a lobby group for Ontario convenience stores to integrate an age verification app that they hope will eventually be used across 8,000 stores in the province.
Bluink removes passport requirement for digital ID app
Bluink’s eID-Me digital ID app has removed a passport requirement and now allows for a driver’s license or a photo ID card for identity verification.
eID-Me is described by Bluink as a “sovereign identity” that encrypts ID information onto a digital wallet that is contained in a mobile phone. The identity can be shared with organizations that accept eID-Me for customer boarding and digital KYC (know your customer) identity verification. Bluink states that it can also be a secure ID back-up in case physical documents are not available.
The digital identity company says it removed the passport requirement for eID-Me because many people do not have a valid passport, which led to a high volume of requests to change the system. Previously, eID-Me verified an identity with an ID card and a passport, which would comply with the Canadian government’s standards for identity assurance level 2 or higher (IAL2+).
Now, the company integrated a new feature called Flexible IAL that determine different levels of security assurance – IAL1 or IAL2+ – based on which ID documents are scanned by the user. A scan of one ID card will grant an IAL1 digital ID, while a scan of an ID card and a passport will produce an IAL2 digital ID.
Bluink offers eID-Me across Canada and says it supports 34 ID documents, with 31 being Canada-specific.
Steve Borza, CEO of Bluink, comments, “Our goal is to improve access to digital, online and offline services for all Canadians. That’s why we removed the passport requirement and that’s why we created eID-Me in the first place. We have listened to our users and we’re happy to implement this new capability and remove friction from the eID-Me onboarding process.”
Liquid Avatar completes convenience store trial
Liquid Avatar Technologies has successfully finished a pilot program with the Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) for an end-to-end, live working test of its Smart Age program that is to be eventually rolled out across 8,000 convenience stores in the Canadian province.
The Smart Age program provides digital age verification with support from biometric verification like a facial scan that is linked to a blockchain and stored on a digital wallet. The service allows a user to present their personal information via mobile phone app without needing to show a card ID to the store clerk. The program would ensure that customers are of legal age to purchase age-restricted goods like cigarettes, alcohol and lottery tickets, and reduce the use of fake documents and identity theft.
“The OCSA is proud to be partnered with Liquid Avatar and feel that this digitally enabled solution will go a long way to providing increased confidence to Ontario families that our channel is the most responsible when selling some of the most sensitive age restricted products in today’s ever-changing market place,” says Dave Bryans, CEO of the OCSA.
Bryans says Smart Age can help to reach a 100 percent success rate in restricting sales of age-restricted products across 8,000 stores in Ontario. The OSCA says there is currently a 96 percent positive verification of age by individual convenience stores. Failure to comply with age restrictions results in the potential loss of the ability to sell a product and receiving a fine, which would be a detriment to the income and business of the convenience store.
Liquid Avatar says Smart Age entails awareness campaigns both in-store and out-of-home, and a proprietary service called Passmate that makes secure data sharing and proof of digital identity available to consumers and businesses through existing point of sale and payment terminals. The program is expected to be available as a software-as-a-service monthly subscription or a pay-as-you-go model with minimum requirements.
Smart Age and Passmate are integrated into a broad range of decentralized digital identity products offered by Liquid Avatar in conjunction with U.S.-based payments company Dynamics and decentralized data company Indicio.
Liquid Avatar says other types of personal data such as financial credentials, health status, and COVID-19 test results can be included into the system.
David Lucatch, CEO of Liquid Avatar Technologies, says, “The synergies we’re creating through providing verifiable credential technology for c-stores, retailers, services operators, educators, eCommerce, health care, Covid tests, travel-along with our provision of identity in the metaverse will transform business and consumer behavior for the benefit of both.”