Herald’s ‘Mobile ID Choice’ digital driver’s license
It’s time to ditch the plastic, that is, if you want to.
Trulioo Senior Vice President of Identity Solutions Garient Evans told PYMNTS that the big digital shift creates a range of options for those of us who want to embrace digital IDs – or keep our old paper and plastic documents in the proverbial leather wallet.
The conversation came weeks after Apple said residents of eight U.S. states could add their driver’s licenses or state IDs to their Apple wallets on their iPhones and Apple Watches in the future. Licenses based on digital wallet or state IDs can be used at participating airports during initial deployments.
Although he said the announcement “may have caught people’s attention,” the trends behind the initiative have been in place for some time. The general concept is that parts of a person’s identity can live on their phone – and allow that channel to serve as a means of accessing products and services.
Smartphones at the center of everything
To see how this concept is spreading, he highlighted the use of boarding passes downloaded to phones, rendered and presented digitally at the gate. More and more, we are avoiding the paper passes and plastic documents that we once had to wield to help us get through the day.
Overall, he said, “there are more and more consumers saying, ‘I don’t need a physical wallet. I have all my payment methods on my phone – and now my ID on my phone too. ‘”
Digital identifiers, he said, can be particularly useful in ensuring that individuals are old enough to walk into a bar and purchase alcohol or tobacco.
But is it sure?
Security is also enhanced with digital identifiers, which present “only” the information needed, he said. A digital ID, for example, can offer a simple “yes” or “no” determination to verify that a person has passed the age thresholds of 18 or 21 without disclosing more details than that. This level of security is way ahead of the handing over of a plastic ID, where many other sensitive details can be viewed by bad actors.
Do a simple Google search, Evans said, and you will be able to find domestic and international counterfeiters who will create a high-quality fake version of a government-issued ID, complete with size, eye color, date of birth and other characteristics.
By nature, digital driver’s licenses are more secure and can take advantage of encryption and other advanced technologies to ensure that data is not exposed more than necessary depending on the use case.
Ultimately, according to the vendor, digital identities could be linked to digital keys that can unlock home and garage doors. Gone are the days of the “Batman utility belt” where keys, wallets and a range of gadgets are needed to gain access to his home or workplace, he said.
“You’re never really far from your phone – and your phone is always charged,” he said, adding that devices are ubiquitous across all demographics, so it makes sense that the phone is used to the point. access and entry, and to confirm high and low value transactions. Delivery drivers may be able to ping a customer’s phone and confirm that customer’s location – and, indeed, that they are who they say they are.
With a nod to high value transactions, he said the same digital ID can be used to apply for student loans or refinance his home.
Old habits die hard
In the future, vendors are sure to fight for part of the digital ID field. It may be some time before we see standards and protocols governing how credentials should be created and maintained. The government has an opportunity to step in and help clarify technical details and risk tolerance, he said. Legislation in this space, as with the Digital Identity Enhancement Act of 2021, can help accelerate that consensus, “which in turn will help innovators understand what the expectations are.”
As he told PYMNTS: “We live in an age of options, and the digital driver’s license is going to be a convenient way for us to let go of the wallet. But it may not be mandatory or inevitable for those of us who love the feel of plastic and wallets. There will probably always be the option of having that plastic license. “