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Taiwan regulator says banks, fintechs should push digital ID verification envelope

Taiwan regulator says banks, fintechs should push digital ID verification envelope

Taiwan’s financial industry is advocating for digital identity verification, as the country’s Financial Supervisory Committee (FSC) pushes initiatives designed to encourage digital ID adoption and align biometric verification and authentication systems with new guidelines issued last fall.

The FSC’s digital identity authentication and authorization-themed supervision sandbox and business trial launched in 2022. According to Regulation Asia, the organization last week reported receiving 25 counseling requests from 17 financial institutions as a result of the initiative, plus ten applications from businesses to trial digital ID verification and authentication-related operations. Among the latter, Taiwan Cooperative Bank and Yuanta Bank were approved for live operations; the other eight applicants won approval for trials.

In addition to promoting digital ID initiatives in general, the FSC recently released an updated development roadmap that specifically pushes for financial institutions and fintech firms to use FIDO (Fast Identity Online) for identity verification. Five of the applicants to the FSC’s business trial program sought authorization to leverage FIDO in data sharing between subsidiaries for the purpose of ID verification when opening accounts online.

The FSC’s new guidelines are aimed at making it easier for businesses to adopt new technologies for digital identity verification, without having to draft or revise standards for every new scenario. A press release from the organization says its overarching goal is to “introduce an innovative digital identity verification mechanism that is convenient, safe and reliable, so that people can use digital financial services more conveniently and with greater peace of mind,” while taking risk, consent and consumer rights into account.

The organization also says it intends to continue its push for digital ID uptake, “to encourage financial institutions and fintech players to use technology combined with innovation to develop diversified digital financial services and bring a more convenient, safer and smarter digital financial experience to the public.”

Taiwan has seen some public and judicial resistance to its planned national digital ID scheme. Last year, a Taiwanese court sent lawmakers back to the drawing board by ruling that the implementation of a digital ID program without citizen consensus and special data protection laws could lead to human rights violations.

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