eftpos’ digital identity solution business, connectID, has been named the country’s first accredited non-government operator of a digital identity exchange under the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF).
The accreditation – which is open to providers who meet the government’s 262 requirements – enables connectID to act as a broker between identity providers and merchants that require identity verification.
The federal Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, announced the news, congratulating eftpos for being the first private identity exchange to be accredited under the TDIF.
“As an accredited provider, eftpos has demonstrated that connectID is trustworthy, safe and secure and has met strict usability and accessibility requirements,” he said.
Speaking on the decision, eftpos chief executive Stephen Benton said: “TDIF accreditation is a big step forward for eftpos and industry to help bring the benefits of digital identity to more sectors of the economy.
“It is a significant and tangible milestone in the rollout of Australia’s digital identity ecosystem and comes after months of rigorous assurance evaluations and privacy and security testing.
“With connectID, eftpos drew on its experience operating the national eftpos network in the development of an exchange to make it easier for Australians to share, store and receive trusted personal identity information online, giving them more confidence and control.”
How it works
According to the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA)’s Digital Identity – the program overseeing the TDIF – connectID will now join Services Australia’s exchange as an “accredited exchange under the TDIF”.
The exchange is “not currently seeking to operate inside the Australian Government Digital Identity System”.
The general manager for Digital Identity at the DTA, Jonathon Thorpe, noted that connectID had met the necessary guidelines, including security, to be accredited under this new program.
“The accreditation of the first private exchange is yet another key milestone in the Digital Identity program, creating a truly whole-of-economy solution and a further step towards Australia becoming a leading digital economy by 2030,” he added.
Managing director of eftpos Digital Identity, Andrew Black, added that connectID was already live and operating trials with identity providers, including state governments, and that enabling online verification is a logical step forward for the country.
“The creation of an Australian digital identity ecosystem that provides utility to both the public and private sectors is a foundation stone in a modern digital economy because it reduces friction, delays and cost while automating and boosting safety and compliance for individuals, businesses and government services,” he said.
Mr Robert shared Mr Black’s sentiment in his announcement of the accreditation, adding: “In recent years, our nation has transformed the way we go about our daily lives – and it all revolves around digital. From shopping to banking to accessing government services, Australia has turned to digital in droves.
“With this comes great benefits – a thriving digital economy drives growth by enabling businesses to prosper, providing more job opportunities for Australians, and connecting us with emerging industries and technologies across the world.
“However, Australians and Australian businesses must have trust and confidence that the system and their personal information is safe and secure.”
The minister added that “a safe, thriving digital economy” is the “best way we can grow the Australian economy”, but that this is not possible without digital identity and the security of personal information.
The announcement reflects a period of rapid prioritisation by the Morrison government for business digitalisation, encapsulated by last year’s announcement of the $800 million Digital Business Plan.
The Digital Identity system is one aspect of this package.
Last month, the Australian-based identity provider, OCR Labs, was named the first private company to be accredited as an identity provider under the TDIF.
In February, 86 400 confirmed it was another lender to have partnered with OCR Labs, the digital bank stating it was intending to implement a new contactless verification of identity option that could be completed from a smartphone in under two minutes.
The announcement also reflects Morrison’s government’s planned Digital Identity legislation, which is intended to establish permanent oversight and governance structures for the digital identity system.
The legislation is also said to be building on the Morrison government’s wider ambition for Australia to become a leading digital economy by 2030.
The exposure draft of the bill, alongside supporting materials, is expected to be released shortly.