Mastercard is testing the water with its new digital service that has the potential to verify a person’s identity immediately, safely and securely in both the digital and the physical world.

Seeking to innovate within and become a leader within the identification and security space, Mastercard has teamed with Deakin University and the Australia Post in order to pilot the new tech in Australia. 

Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence for Mastercard commented: “Our increasingly digital life – the way we transact and interact – has challenged our traditional notions of identity, trust and privacy. We need a new model. We believe that this starts with a commitment to the responsible handling of personal information, giving consumers control over which data is used and how it is used to verify their identity.”

The pilot program aims to streamline the identity verification process, eliminating the need for a myriad of documents. 

Maximising and modernising the use of data, in a model allows it to sit with the user. It will activate a distributed model that blends information stored on an individual’s mobile device and verified by additional reference points, such as an individual’s bank or participating government agencies. Eradicating the necessity of a centralised identity database.

The initial phase of the pilot with Deakin University featured student volunteers testing an identity verification process for student registration and digital exams at the Burwood and Geelong campuses in Victoria.

William Confalonieri, chief digital officer for Deakin University added: “We’re delighted to partner with Mastercard in this first trial to test concepts that can one day deliver intelligent, future-focused solutions ready to respond to a digital world’s needs. The pilot aligns with our institution’s digital-first strategy to improve the user experience and we look forward to the concept moving into other trial environments.”

To support its identity efforts, Mastercard has entered into a separate partnership with Australia Post to integrate the agency’s existing Digital iD solution and expand the ability for Australians to identify themselves easily when accessing services.

“Australia Post is delighted to participate in this pilot, which will help raise awareness about digital identity in Australia and provide our Digital iD users access to a larger variety of uses,” said Regis Bauchiere, general manager, identity products and services for Australia Post. “Complementing our participation in the Trusted Digital Identity Framework, it also positions Digital iD as the only identity provider offering our communities access to both government and private sector services.”