Dick Dekkers, Director of Business Development at Digidentity

Creating a secure digital identity

Dick Dekkers, Director of Business Development at Digidentity explores how Global Access to Digital Identity Opens International Doors

An already shrinking world became even smaller during the pandemic. Before lockdown, global organisations were operating in multiple offices across the planet. However, as remote working became the norm, suddenly entire businesses became completely reliant on digital services to continue functioning. Regardless of location, every member of staff was in the same position – working in a virtual office from home. Employees who had never physically met could have been hundreds of miles apart, yet they may have felt closer than ever before.

Global business isn’t the same as it once was. Today, a few people working in a kitchen can take a company into new markets without leaving the room. And much of the ability to sign contracts remotely is down to digital identity. Before the pandemic, important documents had to be signed face-to-face, taking weeks or even months to gather the necessary people into one location – often travelling across borders – all for a signature. It was tedious, difficult and slow.

With digital identity services, modern organisations can grow into new markets, expand global partnerships or make significant business-altering decisions without the need to be in the same room. The entire process can be streamlined, straightforward, and most importantly, secure.

A reliable and secure alternative
The use of digital transactions has been growing rapidly for several years, yet the global pandemic has become a catalyst for rapid innovation in the area, both in the public and private sectors. In this age of digital transformation, the ability to prove identity digitally has become more urgent and more valuable.

This is particularly stringent in the financial and insurance markets, where secure and reliable digital ID is becoming a key part of the infrastructure, with consumers able to share their data with third party providers smoothly and securely. The growth in digital financial transitions requires a better understanding of how individuals are being identified and verified to ensure secure transactions and prevent financial crime.

CIFAS, which is the UK’s leading fraud prevention department, found that of the 223,163 cases of identity theft reported in 2019, almost all of them took place online. This clearly shows there is an ever-growing need to come up with safe ways to store data online. The financial loss and the cost of reclaiming a stolen identity can be as much as £10,000. Digital ID systems with privacy enhancing technologies and improved security could help to fight against this problem.

Digital ID allows proof of identity without sharing unnecessary information, through the use of new privacy enhancing technologies and global laws. Unlike a paper-based ID such as most driver’s licenses and passports, a digital ID can be used remotely over digital channels. Many Digital verification services have built-in privacy provisions such as data minimisation and proportionality, well-controlled processes, and robust governance, making the process as safe and reliable as possible.

All identity providers and Qualified Trust Service Providers (QTSP) must follow rigorous regulations that uphold international standards for security and data protection. Digital identity services are highly secure and reliable, and all documents provide a readily available paper trail, accessible whenever needed for compliance purposes.

Global expansion
With the complete shutdown of society around the world, businesses adapted to working at home. Even with the reopening of cities across the globe, many businesses have chosen to maintain work from home schemes. This presented some challenges for businesses, and they could no longer meet face-to-face to sign off documents and generate secure verifications. Digital ID has been able to open the world up through the Internet and expand business potential in a time that feels so restrictive. Rather than scheduling and rescheduling meetings to visit someone in-person and verify certain documents face-to-face, users can now submit a document through the cloud. Once verified, the user can be issued with a qualified electronic signature that can be used to sign documents online.

The simple act of bringing such an important process digital has meant that more international businesses are now accessible and attainable, especially as organisations are expanding and looking to recover from the pandemic. SMEs can better expand and tap into the global client base, and rural SMEs have the opportunity to access distant business opportunities.

Using digital ID verification, a business can expand into new markets, increase their employee workflow, and introduce new customers while lowering the cost of their products and services on an international scale. All of this, through a simple, secure and reliable process of digital identity.

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