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Optus, Mastercard extend strategic partnership with digital identity tool

Optus, Mastercard extend strategic partnership with digital identity tool

Optus and Mastercard have extended their strategic partnership to provide Optus customers with a secure way to prove their identity. Through the My Optus app, customers can create a reusable digital identity that they can share with consent without needing to supply physical documents.

“Our partnership with Mastercard increases customer security while simplifying the digital experience,” says Richard Webby, the managing director of Optus Digital. “Protecting our customers’ data and keeping their accounts secure is a top priority.”

Using security technology, the ‘ID’ service verifies the legitimacy of physical documents like passports. It does so by comparing a document’s photo with the customer’s face biometrics to ensure they are real and then cross-referencing that information against government data sources for confirmation.

Over 600,000 Optus customers have already set up an ID through the service.

Following the Optus data breach that compromised 1.2 million telecom customers, demand for digital ID in Australia has risen significantly. NCA Newswire reports that many of those affected had at least one current and valid form of identification or personal information exposed in the security incident.

Customers can set up their digital identity with an Australian driver’s license, passport or an international passport with an Australian visa. Other channels for using the service will be available in 2023.

“Australians want convenient, secure, and smart ways to prove their identity when making a purchase or applying for a service,” says Richard Wormald, the division president of Australasia, Mastercard. “Beyond convenience, ID allows customers to manage and control their data, using best-in-class technology to ensure customers’ personal information is safe and secure.”

Meanwhile, New South Wales’ outgoing digital services minister Michael Dominello is still strongly encouraging the government and industry to adopt a digital ID to improve privacy and security. At a recent tech industry gathering in Sydney, Dominello emphasized that this system empowers individuals for tech and privacy rather than government control. Not only is this a threat to individuals, but businesses can also suffer in the wake of a security breach, as it could have disastrous effects on their reputation.

“You’re sitting on a bank of PDFs of passports and driver’s licenses and don’t have a secure cyber framework around that,” explains Dominello in an ACS article. “Isn’t that a contingent liability to think about? So organizations should be jumping onto this to make sure they don’t need to record it.”

The minister believes that standardizing data formats across states, territories and federally is the key to making this system work. With this, large corporations such as Telstra and banks can confidently enter the digital realm.

“So basically, national corporations like Telstra, or the banks can say, all right, I can move into this with confidence knowing that everyone’s going to be the same eventually,” continues Dominello.

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