What can you do with digital identity is a fundamental, probably critical, question for the industry to answer. It probably should be top of pack for any company thinking of standing up a digital identity solution, as without it you will have created a boat without paddles or a sail. It may look good and be technically sound, but it won’t get you too far. Metaphor aside, if a digital identity solution does not solve an immediate problem and lacks a scalable business plan, then it will quickly lose momentum and become obsolete. This is, of course, true of any technology or business, but is acutely relevant to the digital identity industry.
This is one of the important findings from a report that I have authored, the second edition of the Goode Intelligence Digital Identity report which was recently published and covers the market for verified citizen and commercial digital identity.
In the four years since the first edition of the report was published in 2019, there has been a growing realisation that you cannot stand-up a digital identity scheme or solution without successfully answering these three questions:
1. Does it solve a real-word problem?
2. Will people use it?
3. How can I make money out of it?
The third question is critical to privately run identity systems/schemes.
A failure to answer these questions has effectively ended Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI). The theory that people would choose to download a wallet or generate their own digital identity and then use this identity with a variety of relying parties, including governments, has not been successful. There are of course other reasons, but fundamentally in building solutions without a direct link to benefit (both user and business) there is little appetite for them.
So, what can you do with digital identity and where are we seeing success and growth. With the emergence of digital identity wallets and verifiable credentials there are three new categories that are added to our list from 2019, Employee ID, Healthcare ID, and Digital Qualifications.
Our top eight use cases and applications for Digital Identity in the six-year period that the report covers, 2024-2029 are:
1. Identity Verification: Supporting remote customer onboarding.
2. Access to eGovernment services: Providing a single digital identity to access cross-department digital government services including eVoting
3. Assured Authentication: When the digital identity is highly assured and issued after strong identity and document verification then it can be used for assured authentication
4. Digital Travel: Including, Mobile driving licenses (mDL), Kerb(couch)-to-Gate for airport, rail, and boats.
5. Age Verification: Including Offline – used in bars and clubs instead of a paper document, and Online – used to ensure access to adult (age restricted) digital content and services is upheld.
6. Digital Signature: Supporting smart contracts.
7. Employee ID: Digitising employee records and career history by exploring the capabilities of verifiable credentials.
8. Healthcare ID: Including healthcare professionals, including qualifications and experience, Patient ID, Healthpass (COVID19)
The second edition of The Digital Identity Report, published October 17 2023, is a comprehensive 272 page study that includes a review of current global adoption, market analysis including key drivers and barriers for adoption, interviews with leading stakeholders, technology analysis with review of key technologies and profiles of companies supplying solutions across key verticals plus forecasts (regional and global) for digital identity users, key technologies, and revenue within the six-year period 2024 to 2029.
More information can be found on the report page.