Digital Identity Wallet Pilot for Smart Cities


The Challenge

As the digital economy matures and citizen priorities are evolving, how can modern-day cities rethink their digital identity strategy to promote privacy-preserving infrastructure and services?

An urban innovation company focused on improving city life was developing and incubating technologies to address civic issues, including the cost of living, efficient transportation, and energy usage in smart cities. Today, many city governments lack interoperable access systems and public-private partnerships to collaborate on data-sharing practices. Our client had recently received approval to accelerate the build and launch of a digital identity wallet integrated with smart city digital infrastructure. Requiring a proof-of-concept, the urban innovation hub engaged OWI to design a future-forward digital identity product strategy that could enable residents and visitors of smart cities to access goods and services safely and securely.

The Action

OWI evaluated the viability of decentralized identity business models for each use case and proposed a go-to-market strategy. Elements of each go-to-market strategy included assessing the total addressable market, accompanying monetization strategies and revenue models, unit economics including hardware costs, effective sales channels, technological enablers, and forecasted adoption rates.

As an extension of OWI’s product strategy development, we collaborated with our client’s Product & Strategy team to create a functional prototype, including reliable identity verification, authentication, IAM, and Physical Access Management solutions. The final prototype enabled introducing a unified citizen ID to support privacy-preserving experiences in both the online and offline world.

Because digital identity is a critical infrastructure component underpinning connected city functionality, OWI started its engagement by mapping priority use cases to support a trusted identity ecosystem.

Liminal performed an initial evaluation of more than 40 potential identity use cases and prioritized eight based on examining their potential business impact and ease of implementation. Use cases that merited additional in-depth analysis included:

  • Know Your Customer (KYC) and Identity Verification (IDV)
  • Transportation
  • Civic & Residential Services
  • Healthcare Records Management
  • Delivery Bot Access
  • License Application, Renewal, and Revocation
  • Community Messaging
  • Customer Rewards & Loyalty

The Outcome

With a working proof-of-concept and a functional prototype in place, our client secured a partnership with a top 5 North American financial institution to commercialize the technology. As a result of signing an official partnership agreement, our client strengthened its position to convene integrated authoritative credentials issuers and verifiers as ecosystem partners.

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