Kakao Pay reports 1m users of its blockchain-based mobile identity service

Kakao Pay’s blockchain-based authentication boasts 1m users — Yonhap News — “Users of KakaoTalk, South Korea’s top mobile messenger, can use the authentication service on the mobile messenger without having to download an application. A total of 20 institutions and companies, including insurer AIA Life Korea and the Korea Transportation Safety Authority, use the service, Kakao Pay said, adding that it plans to expand the service.”

Russian banks prep for launch of national biometric ID platform

Tinkoff Bank takes part in demonstrating a beta version of the Unified Biometrics System (UBS) — Tinkoff Bank — “Rostelecom, together with Tinkoff Bank, VTB Bank and Pochta Bank, has presented a beta version of its Unified Biometrics System (UBS), a digital platform developed at the request of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media and the Bank of Russia. The beta version features all the key components to deliver basic human identification functionality and is ready to be integrated into the banks’ information systems… The commercial launch of the Unified Biometrics System is slated for 1 July 2018.”

Microsoft sets out vision for a blockchain-based infrastructure that lets consumers manage their own digital identities

Decentralized digital identities and blockchain — The future as we see it — Microsoft — “The world is undergoing a global digital transformation where digital and physical reality are blurring into a single integrated modern way of living. This new world needs a new model for digital identity… We believe it is essential for individuals to own and control all elements of their digital identity… This self-owned identity must be easy to use and give us complete control over how our identity data is accessed and used.”

Canada to test blockchain and biometric identity concept that lets travellers control their own ID

Canada to test advancements in biometrics and blockchain to welcome international travellers — World Economic Forum — “The Known Traveller concept is founded on the principle that an individual traveller has control over the use of their own identity and its components. Due to this decentralization of control over the components of their identity, a traveller can push proof of their identity information — secured by distributed ledger technology and cryptography — to governmental and private-sector entities throughout their journey.”

Metro Bank lets customers open an account with a selfie

Bricks and clicks unite: Metro Bank takes the revolution nationwide with launch of current accounts online — Metro Bank — “The use of cutting-edge technology means identification documents, along with a selfie, are uploaded directly onto the application. With verification and authentication taking place in real-time, accounts can be opened in less than 10 minutes, including setting-up internet banking.”

Mastercard to add biometric security to online transactions in Europe

Mastercard establishes biometrics as the new normal for safer online shopping — Mastercard — “Consumers will have the capability to use biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, as a way to identify themselves when they shop and pay with Mastercard as of April 2019… This shift to biometrics is part of Mastercard’s new action plan to help banks, retailers and partners to prevent fraud and improve the consumer experience in the new digital environment. It also meets new regulatory requirements around Strong Customer Authentication set out by PSD2 and is aimed at ensuring a smoother consumer experience and reducing unjustified declines.”

India adds tokenization to Aadhaar national biometric ID system

Aadhaar adds fresh security layer with 16-digit ‘Virtual ID’ — Times of India — “UIDAI’s Virtual ID, which will be issued from March, will allow over 119 crore [1.19bn] Aadhaar holders to generate a 16-digit temporary number that can be shared with a bank, insurance company or telecom service provider instead of the 12-digit Aadhaar number. All service providers will have to upgrade their systems to mandatorily allow for the new tool from June.”

Chinese government teams up with WeChat to offer digital social security cards

China’s social security system turns to WeChat for electronic ID — South China Morning Post — “Government trials in 26 cities will have Tencent’s WeChat replace traditional state-issued social security cards with digital version tied to users’ accounts… The WeChat-based electronic social security cards will enable users to provide their identification, status, payment records and other relevant information to official online inquiries about benefits and insurance coverage.”

Guangzhou pilot lets consumers use WeChat to create an official digital ID

WeChat poised to become China’s official electronic ID system — South China Morning Post — “The WeChat ID programme was co-developed by the research institute of the Ministry of Public Security and Tencent’s WeChat team, and supported by various banks and several other government departments. The project is expected to help deter online identity theft, as facial recognition technology is used to verify applicants before their virtual ID cards get authorised. Those verified will be able to use their WeChat ID to register in hotels and apply for government services without the need of bringing their physical ID cards.”

EU gives payments industry 18 months to implement strong customer authentication

Payment Services Directive (PSD2): Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) enabling consumers to benefit from safer and more innovative electronic payments — European Commission — “The RTS makes strong customer authentication (SCA) the basis for accessing one’s payment account, as well as for making payments online. This means that to prove their identity users will have to provide at least two separate elements out of these three: something they know (a password or PIN code); something they own (a card, a mobile phone); and something they are (biometrics, eg fingerprint or iris scan)… The use of SCA will become mandatory 18 months after the entry into force of the RTS, ie once the RTS is published in the Official Journal of the EU, scheduled for September 2019.”

Sberbank to build ID platform that supports face, voice and retina biometrics

Sberbank and VisionLabs to build biometric identification platform — Sberbank — “Sberbank announces the signing of a deal to acquire a block of shares in VisionLabs, a global leader of the facial recognition market… The investment in VisionLabs is a major first step by Sberbank to build a biometrics platform of Sberbank’s ecosystem, involving face, voice and retina identification, as well as other biometric factors… This will allow the creation of a unique biometric identifier that will let Sberbank clients access any service.”

Swiss consumers to get single digital ID

Just one password? Swiss groups plan single online identity — Reuters — “Swiss consumers will be able to use a single digital identity to buy online products and services under a project unveiled on Tuesday by nine big companies. The aim is to let people use just one login profile to order in shops, buy train tickets or do banking transactions, according to the consortium… It includes UBS, Credit Suisse, Swisscom, Swiss Post, stock exchange operator Six, Raiffeisen, Swiss Railways, Zuercher Kantonalbank and insurer Mobiliar.”

Video shows that children could use Face ID to unlock their parents’ iPhone X

This 10-year-old was able to unlock his mom’s iPhone using Face ID — The Verge — “While Apple has admitted that false positives can happen, it was thought this could only happen with twins, or siblings under the age of 13. However, a new video has popped up showing a 10-year-old unlocking his mother’s iPhone, suggesting that any family members who bear enough resemblance might be able to bypass the system.”

UK supermarkets to test face recognition for proof-of-age at self-checkout tills

Supermarket self-service tills replace ID checks with facial recognition — The Telegraph — “The technology will be used to remove in-person age checks when customers are buying alcohol and other age restricted items… Using Yoti at a self service till would involve a QR code showing up on the checkout screen, which could be scanned by the app. The Yoti app would then scan the shopper’s face to confirm their identity, and would then connect to the till over the internet to verify the purchase.”

Facebook applies for patent for face recognition payments in stores

Facial recognition identification for in-store payment transactions — USPTO — “One or more implementations involve receiving a payment request to initiate an in-store payment transaction between a user and a merchant, the payment request including an image of the user. One or more embodiments identify a payment account for the user based on the image and send a payment confirmation request to a client device of the user. Additionally, one or more embodiments process the in-store payment transaction based on a confirmation response received from the client device.”

Canadian banks, carriers and government back blockchain-based digital IDs

Forget iris scans, Canadians to use blockchain for digital IDs — Bloomberg — “Soon Canadians will be able to verify personal information for everything from driver’s licenses to banking using mobile phones and blockchain… Canada’s six largest lenders, including Toronto-Dominion Bank and Royal Bank of Canada invested C$30m (US$24m) in the project. The country’s three main wireless carriers — owned by Rogers Communications Inc, Telus Corp and BCE Inc — are also involved through their EnStream venture, along with a number of provincial governments.”

Researchers build ID data into smart clothing

How to store information in your clothes invisibly, without electronics — University of Washington — “Most people today combine conductive thread — embroidery thread that can carry an electrical current — with other types of electronics to create outfits, stuffed animals or accessories that light up or communicate… The UW researchers realized that this off-the-shelf conductive thread also has magnetic properties that can be manipulated to store either digital data or visual information like letters or numbers. This data can be read by a magnetometer, an inexpensive instrument that measures the direction and strength of magnetic fields and is embedded in most smartphones.”

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