While the headline shouts ‘blockchain’ the real story here is SecureKey, a Toronto startup that raised $26M in late 2016 from the Big 5 banks to build VerifiedMe. While SecureKey has provided online digital identity services to the Federal Government since 2012, the launch of VerifiedMe is kind of a big deal. The native mobile app enables you to use your phone as a secure digital identity device, leveraging banking-level security to access government and commercial services; online, in-person and over the phone. Think of it like a Google or Facebook sign-in service – but without Google or Facebook (or SecureKey) ever seeing or storing any of your information.
The network is built on collaboration between banks, telecom firms and credit agencies, and SecureKey Chief Executive Officer Greg Wolfond said he expects Verified.Me to be used by consumers to prove their identities to access health records, open accounts at banks and telephone companies, and get government services by the end of this year.
“Everything from being able to see your health records in a secure way, being able to open a new bank account, being able to get a new phone -- all this stuff that’s so time-consuming and painful is going to get easier for consumers,” Wolfond said in an interview. “They’re going to be able to share their data in a secure and trusted way, which they never really could before.”
I’ve been fortunate to have spent time with the SecureKey team over the past couple of years and this service is going to be everywhere before long. Being ready on Day One to make secure, completely private connections to federal and provincial governments, major carriers, banks and credit bureaus is huge, and hints at some the cool integrations we’ll see later this year. Last fall we talked to Secure Key Chief Identity Officer Andre Boysen about the digital identity service – you can watch the video here.