Future of Finance


The promise and the power of digital identity (21st October 2020)

Digital identity is a powerful idea. Rightly conceived, it has the potential to save the financial services industry tens of billions of dollars a year in customer on-boarding and re-authorisation checks. In the longer term, digital IDs could mark the beginning of a process that overturns the current balance of wealth and power between consumers and corporations in the markets for data. In some jurisdictions, that power is now being unleashed. The number of FinTechs basing their quest for funding on digital IDs is legion. Yet the traditional financial services industry seems wedded to analogue solutions to the costs of running LKYC, AML, CFT and sanctions screening checks. This Future of Finance webinar will re-examine the case for digital IDs, test the technical and political obstacles to their adoption, and ask what needs to be done to realise their potential.

Link to join Webinar

Financial services firms are spending a fortune conducting Know Your Client (KYC), Anti Money Laundering (AML), Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and sanctions screening checks on new and existing clients. This expenditure reflects their concern about the costs of regulatory fines and reputational damage if they fail to comply with the 40 Recommendations on AML and CFT published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The result is massive duplication of work by financial services firms and mounting irritation on the part of their clients. The conventional solution to the duplication of work is to establish a data-pooling service or an industry utility, but attempts to solve the costs of KYC, AML, CFT and sanctions checks by this means have met with mixed success. There are many reasons why data pooling does not work, but a reluctance to rely on the work of others and uncertainty about liability for inaccurate information are chief among them. This is why a growing number of industry observers believe a better solution is to put responsibility for proving identity back in the hands of retail and corporate clients. Instead of separate firms checking the identity documentation of clients and potential clients separately, clients and potential clients would secure a digital identity (digital ID) from an authorised issuer of digital IDs that follows standardised processes and assurance frameworks. The client, rather than the service provider, would take responsibility for keeping their digital ID up to date. Digital IDs could also become the foundation of a new system of business, in which large corporations cease to profit from free access to consumer data and consumers take ownership of their own data, controlling who sees it or exploits it and using it to buy products and services and switch between service providers.

Topics to be discussed:

• The use and abuse of KYC, AML, CFT and sanctions screening checks
• The inefficiencies of current KYC, AML, CFT and sanctions screening checks
• Experience with data-sharing utilities
• What digital IDs rely on and consist of
• Whether digital IDs can counter process (“box-ticking”) becoming more important than outcome?
• Assessing the trustworthiness of documentation and documentation sources
• The possibility of international technical standards and assurance frameworks
• Keeping digital IDs up to date
• Data security and confidentiality concerns
• How to make digital IDs portable between jurisdictions?
• How to counter the theft of digital identities
• Digital IDs and financial inclusion
• What vendors can do to make digital IDs happen
• What governments should do about digital IDs


Harry Weber-Brown, Digital Innovation Director at TISA https://www.linkedin.com/in/harryweberbrown/

Professor Philip Treleaven,  Professor & Director of UK Financial Computing Centre at University College London https://www.linkedin.com/in/philip-treleaven-9b594…

Genevieve Leveille, Founder and CEO at Agriledger https://www.linkedin.com/in/genevieveleveille/

Seema Khinda Johnson, Co-Founder and COO at Nuggets https://www.linkedin.com/in/seemajohnson/

Frank Ricotta, Founder and CEO at BurstIQ https://www.linkedin.com/in/frankricotta/

Alex Tweeddale, Regulatory and Compliance Associate at IDWorks https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-tweeddale-0202031…

Moderated by Dominic Hobson, Co-Founder of Future of Finance https://www.linkedin.com/in/dominic-hobson-49b8222…

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