ConnectID sets sights on 2023 launch

Claims support of Australia’s ‘big four’ banks.

Australian Payments Plus’ (AP+) – the vehicle for digital identity initiatives of BPAY and eftpos – has claimed support from all ‘big four’ banks for its ConnectID platform.

The company said in a statement and in social media posts that ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac are all backing “development and establishment of an open, standards-based national identity infrastructure called ConnectID.”

However, the statement contains quotes from only two of the banks – CBA and NAB.

Spokespeople for Westpac and ANZ Banking Group declined to make specific comments on their support of ConnectID when approached by iTnews.

ConnectID’s managing director ConnectID AP+ Andrew Black told iTnews the identity service has “gone through a bit of a refresh” and reached a “key milestone in being able to announce the support of these banks”.

Black said it had been a “collaborative process” with all ConnectID participants using “globally recognised standards” to ensure all future participants can easily integrate with the service.

ConnectID also has accreditation under the Australian government’s trusted digital identity framework (TDIF).

Backing by the major banks is a vital component as “people trust banks and major banks in keeping money safe and data is no different,” Black said.

“Having that sense of trust tied to a bank is really important.”

He added that the reusability of ConnectID to authenticate to other services – assuming that materialises in future – would also be attractive to participants and end customers.

ConnectID will rely on the banks “to tell customers about how and where they can use this [digital identity] going forward”.

“Customers are asking [the banks] for things like this. So it will be working with all of those participants within the network to help, not only spread it from a retail and onboarding side, but for banks to help customers know when and where they can use [ConnectID],” Black said.

Customer trials of ConnectID are anticipated to begin later this year, ahead of a planned 2023 launch.

Black said ConnectID “definitely” sees expansion of support beyond the big banks, with trials with the Queensland government also underway.  

Further tests will roll out later this year with “trials across a couple of different couple different sectors” in the fintech space, ecommerce, age verification and retail in the coming months.  

CBA’s general manager for open data Katherine Sleeth said in AP+’s statement that the bank is “pleased” to help its customers “have more control of their data and privacy”, allowing them to share their personal information through the CommBank app.

“The quick online process will save customers time and help keep them safe online,” Sleeth said.

NAB chief digital, data and analytics officer Angela Mentis also stated the bank was “proud to play a critical role” in the development of the initiative.   

Mentis said the bank wants “to make life easier for our customers when they are going through a process of validating their identity online” while offering “a safe way to do that which protects their data and privacy.”.

“ConnectID gives customers full control to use only data that is absolutely necessary when completing identity verifications; they will be able to do things like digitally prove their age rather than passing over their driver’s license for the same purpose,” Mentis said.

“When signing up for a new mobile phone plan or other service for example, identity data will only be accessed when a customer initiates a transaction, authenticates themselves using their regular banking login, and provides express consent.”

Mentis further stated that using a digital identity can help protect consumers against cybercrime.

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