According to research just published by the Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) with Consult Hyperion’s support, the potential value of trusted digital identity to the Canadian economy is at least 1% of Canada’s GDP, or CAD $15 billion.
Those of us who have recently been asked to provide copies of our passport and gas bill when opening a new bank account or taking out a new mobile phone contract, understand the lengths that organizations go through to incorporate old world identity processes into their new digital services. DIACC’s research paper highlights how the savings delivered by a robust digital identity ecosystem arises through reducing friction and increasing trust for governments, businesses and citizens alike.
One of the DIACC’s objectives is to drive the development of a digital identification and authentication trust framework to enable Canada’s full and secure participation in the global digital economy. When published, this framework will provide a common lexicon and guidelines for all the stakeholders within the digital identity community in Canada. It will allow each party to understand the roles and responsibilities of all parties in the ecosystem, while also allowing buyers of those systems to understand where a vendor’s solution competes with or complements, another.
In a market as dynamic and collaborative as Canada this is important.
Once a robust digital identity ecosystem is enabled and new solutions are introduced to the market by service providers, how will that impact the economy? DIACC’s research indicates, it will drive the adoption and use of digital services as it will make it easier for consumers to sign up for and access online services, provide the ability to obtain informed consent, and streamline the processes across a variety of industries such as government, healthcare, financial services, and eCommerce.
The research Consult Hyperion undertook with DIACC has shown the direct correlation between robust digital identity and economic benefit. Delivering a nation-wide solution will require both creativity and stamina. Lead applications must prove the benefits of digital identity. Service providers need to identify and root out inefficiencies in existing services. New digital business models will need digital identity to create fully digital user journeys. Everyone needs to work together to accelerate adoption and drive critical mass.
There will also be cost of doing nothing – marginalised parts of society continue to struggle to access important services, small businesses will face continued bureaucracy in an increasing digital world and criminals will continue to exploit the systemic gaps that exist in many digital services today.
Working with the Canadian community to explore the benefits of digital identity in numerous places across the economy has been fascinating. As payments and identity technology people, we know that tools and technology already exist to deliver wide scale digital identity.
The collaboration already evident in Canada is striking and something Consult Hyperion, are excited to be part of. Chat with us further at the IdentityNorth event taking place June 19-20, in Toronto.

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