The Role of Banks in Empowering Their Consumers With Digital Identity – Learnings From Europe and the ‘Birth’ of ID Networks

Episode 301

10/20/2022

Episode 301

The Role of Banks in Empowering Their Consumers With Digital Identity – Learnings From Europe and the ‘Birth’ of ID Networks

What concepts do you think of for ‘re-useable ID’ and ID networks? Join this week’s State of Identity podcast with host Cameron D’Ambrosi and Digital Identity Net, Co-Founder and Director, Rob Kotlarz to discuss the role of banks in eID and the bankID model. They expand the idea of where bankID models have worked and why. 

Host:

Cameron D'Ambrosi, Senior Principal at Liminal

Guest:

Rob Kotlarz, Co-Founder & Director  at Digital Identity Net

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Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:00:03] Welcome everyone to State of Identity. I’m your host, Cameron Ambrosi. Joining me this week is Rob Kotlarz’s co-founder and director at Digital Identity Net. Rob. Welcome to the podcast.

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:00:13] Thanks, Cameron. It’s a pleasure to catch some time with you guys. I’ve always believed that Liminal is one of the real thought leaders in this space and some of the stuff you’ve been saying about where this market is going be a great opportunity to compare notes on that and hopefully we can discuss some strategic aspects together that your audience will find really interesting.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:00:34] I love it. Well, yeah, without further ado. Before we, I guess, talk about these strategic aspects, we should probably set the table with a bit of background. I think it would be helpful maybe to share just a little bit about, you know, who you are and how you came to be a co-founder of Digital Identity Net. And that started, correct me if I’m wrong with a bit of a background in founding a few previous fintech startups, is that correct?

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:01:05] Yeah. I actually started so many, many years ago as a young guy working for the British Telecom, who’s the big telco that rather dominates the UK market. They are an international business, but they’re very, very prominent in the UK and they’re I was involved in the early days of the Internet in establishing their first digital platform, which was something called l y e w l a yell exist today. But it was a really interesting experience because we wanted to provide digital services to corporates and we were talking to corporates for the first time about websites and how they could get some digital and get online presence right at the early stages of the internet. So I was exposed to all of that, but we really missed an opportunity in my view. And I left the company because companies like Google were providing much richer, more comprehensive digital search services. And of course, they come, as we know, to dominate the market. From there, I went into working in the network space payment network space with a swift partner, built up that business, did ten years in America working with the large banks, learned a lot about what’s important to big financial institutions. And we sold that company on Nasdaq to a Nasdaq player, Bottom Line Technologies payment company for over $100 billion. So that was a great experience building up a company. I got into identity because of the synergy with payments. Headhunter called me up and I did a couple of years consulting with one of the market leaders in Europe, a company called Signicat, who is what I would describe as a value added reseller of digital identity network services, and particularly a bank ID, which is a defacto standard in the Nordics for onboarding and for ID really. People don’t understand how well use that product is massive, massive penetration in the Nordics. They really have very robust digital identity solutions. You guys eliminate all talk a little bit about that and that inspired me to say, look, why can’t we do something like this in the UK? In what could be the approach. Spend some time with trade associations, bankers associations, banks that I knew well, old customers, and decided it was right to show some leadership and kick off the process of establishing a banking type product for the U.K.. And I took a little bit of consulting and bit of thinking from leaders who would set up social bank backed IDs like it’s me in Belgium, which have been very successful now in providing a really nice, reusable identity backed by the banks and the telcos to the citizens in that country. Talking to the Canadians, who I think have been world leaders in forming collaborations to bring digital identity solutions to market, particularly the big Canadian banks. And we formed our own model to partner with a number of banks that raised around about $10 million so far and built a platform and have got our first few customers. And our product is called one I.D. All you need is one I.D. You don’t need lots of passwords. You don’t need lots of different logins that you can’t remember. It’s easy to onboard, and essentially it’s an identity network construct around a trust framework. And we’ve worked very closely with a number of banks, proven it in pilot, launched it and with government. So I have a particular view, which is our banks globally, in fact, have an important social responsibility and a critical role in actually enabling digital trust by being part of this move to ubiquitous and reusable digital identity. And I spent a lot of time talking with banks in many parts of the world. Some agree, some don’t. But many understand that there’s a risk of disintermediation if they’re not in this space and they’re worried about where big tech might be going. And so what we see now is an increasing level of adoption in different markets. In the US, there’s a public announcement recently by IWC, a network of banks coming together to launch a product they already have. Zelle. They’re launching a product called Authentic Fi, which is the bank starting to collaborate in the U.S. like they’ve done in Canada, a bit like they’re doing with us in the U.K. and bit like they’ve already done in the Nordics to establish these these really popular products with the consumer. And my own view is that really we’re building identity products or enabling people to access data that perhaps we already hold about them. Certainly the banks do. And making that simple and easy for consumers. And I think that we believe that this identity market isn’t about technical protocols. It’s about how you make this simple and easy for the consumer to prove they really are who they say they are when they want to do something online. And whoever wins that particular, if you like, argument around really getting getting solutions out that the consumer comes to love, we think will be the winners in this market. We think this market is complex because of the various actors, which we might talk about, Cameron, if you like. So a little bit about me, the company I started up where we are, we got our first few customers working closely with players like DocuSign as a strategic partner. And part of this general trend for banks to have an active role in the digital identity market, which is established in the Nordics but is now coming to the Anglo-Saxon markets, if I can use that term.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:06:52] So, you know, you mentioned those Nordics, and I think this is maybe a great jumping off point for the broader conversation, which is, you know, we have seen that companies like Norway have built a highly functional kind of public private partnership that has created very, very, you know, highly usable and well penetrated digital identities for their consumers. Why do you think that is? You know, do you think it is a unique circumstance of the, you know, smaller countries and the high bank penetration that these Nordic markets have? Or, you know, if you were to kind of unpack why we saw bank ID kind of take off in that part of the world first, why might you think that?

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:07:40] Yeah. I mean, I think that there’s no doubt that those smaller economies, they’re very collaborative. And from a societal point, there is a high level of collaboration. Governments and banks are talking to each other and perhaps in a way that’s a little different. Maybe it’s more regulation driven in other markets. So for example, the UK banks were told to do open banking, you know, an open banking, a platform you’ve had speakers on before where you can you can deliver identity data. So I think that it is is also cultural. You know, these guys often have government identities. Their privacy groups are less concerned about, you know, governments having honeypots of data about citizens and misusing data like some sort of big brother. I’m more interested in just basically making life simpler for their citizens. So I think that those guys for cultural, political, economic reasons and because they are pretty collaborative, they can can fairly quickly get together and do these things. And I think that’s what we’ve seen in the Nordics. I went on idea is a good one. It tends to catch on. So you see the Nordic Bank IDs started in Norway. There’s a Swedish bank I.D. It’s used billions of times a year by population, less than 10 million people. So it’s really been used as ubiquitous, one I.D., just using a bank log in because the bank is doing all those checks on you both to KYC, you going through the ID identity documents when they initially onboard you, but they’re also doing regular behavioral biometric and algorithmic checks when you’re logging in. So you’ve got strong customer authentication operating in those markets now and those schemes start very much as web based and then out very much mobile based. In some cases, they’re really joint collaborations where, you know, the government and and the private sector comes together in an entity. But most often it’s, it’s government frameworks the private sector companies can work within. And that’s what we’re seeing in the UK now, which I think is one of the best models where the government essentially knows it needs a proper regulated identity management. It doesn’t need to have a free for all with honeypot of data or stuff being misused. It needs to be making sure this market done ethically, appropriately and protecting the consumer privacy by design. So what we have in the UK is through the digital culture media, the instrument of government, department of government is a trust framework which they’ve collaborated on with us and many other vendors in the market to establish a framework that can give confidence to the consumer that their data is being used appropriately. So I think that we are starting to see some of that collaboration that drove the Nordic market are also starting to, if you like, with government as a facilitator coming to other, other other markets such as the UK and in fact in Europe. As you well know, for many of the elemental papers we have an initiative from the EU focused on digital identity wallets where they are really pushing forward with more of a government interoperable identity that could allow a Romanian to prove their identity in Germany, for example. And that is another big trend. So I think that political involvement is important. You know, clearly economic drivers are very important. And I think what we see in certain parts of the US is, is some of the banks really worried about the intent of, you know, the major tech companies, you know, products like Apple Pay worried the Australians are. But how far do the big tech companies really want to go after our payments business? Are they after our customer relationships? And I think what we’re starting to see in different parts of the world, and particularly I think in the UK, in the US, but other parts of the world is, is banks taking more active role because they, they want to re intermediate with the digital consumer, they don’t want to be a back office process. So they want to continue to own the digital relationship in much the same way as, you know, people used to go into their branches and talk to a manager where you can have that type of quality of relationship using digital identity. So empowering consumers to use the data the bank holds as a custodian about them. And so I think that we are starting to see that trend that started in the Nordics and the involvement of of government as a light touch or facilitator moving across the planet. And I think the synergy of action, you’ve talked about it in liminal reports between in the role of government telcos, the role of banks, the role of fintechs like our. One idea, acting as facilitators, bringing ecosystems together. I think that is the model that is is really moving forward across the world. And certainly banks contributing, allowing consumers to use the data that they hold on a consent basis is proving to be a nice, simple way for consumers to prove they really are who they say they are. So I see what’s happening in the Nordics. Cameron is, you know, the ten, 15 years ahead of everybody else, they’ve got market penetration of 80 or 90% usage. I see that slowly percolating into other European economies, coming to the U.K., coming to Canada, coming to Australia, and even the United States now. Is the model quite the right one? That’s something we can talk about. And, you know, there are many actors who will try and compete against each other as to who will really grab market share. That, I think is is a really interesting subject. And my own view is what we’ve seen in the Nordics, in the frameworks that we’re seeing now, we are going to start to see a type of land grab for this space. You know, who’s really going to own the digital relationship going forward that we think is really, really important to the global economy, to the citizen and to the major corporations.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:14:03] So the other you know, I think major impact on the space is obviously the rise of kind of government issued I.D. credentials. European Union IDs 2.0. We have, you know, mobile driver’s licenses, initiatives here in the U.S. that are kind of. Well, you might think of them as a very much American version of of the you EADS rollout in Europe, which is, you know, handing over more of it to the private sector, less reliance on open standards and, you know, more fragmented deployment because of the 50 state DMV involvement. Where do you see this interplay between the role of nation states in issuing IDs and then the bank ID model? You know, in my eye, I think to some degree when folks are talking about the potential for clashes between these systems. I don’t necessarily see that to be the case in that, you know, I think all of these things can very much play nicely together. And in fact, you could be using a form of I.D. to open your bank account. But the bank ID model can be enabling a fairly robust interconnectedness of services, if you will. Usage of that digital identity because of, you know, those head starts and experience that the banks have in building API driven experiences, whether it’s around, you know, moving money around or whether it’s around identity. I would love to hear your thoughts on, you know, where you see this interplay happening and, you know, is, is, is government ID initiative a threat to to bank ID models or a complimentary good?

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:15:46] Yeah, it’s a great question, Cameron, and I think you probably get slightly different answers in each major territory, but I think let’s go back to the Nordics. You know, the government has issued digital identity products, but it’s the popular adoption by consumers of the bank’s products that has made for a better, safer digital society. People can really be trusted that they are who they say they are online when they’re using that product. So you get governments adopting of the use of these private sector products. And in fact, you can begin a process such as a divorce in Norway, which is about your contract that the government essentially owns, if you like, for your marriage, you can begin that process online using your bank I.D. So the governments are accepting that they really can I mean, they can save money. They don’t have to build out their own schemes, which can sometimes be fraught with complexity. They can allow the consumer to choose what they would like to use. And so I think what we’re seeing is, is much more light touch of the type that I was talking about in the UK where governments may open up some aspects of their databases. They’ll do that in trust frameworks. They’ll require companies to be certified, effectively regulated, and they’ll facilitate the identity market. And I think that’s that’s where we’re going in, certainly in the U.K. And I think that model is about the right one. And I think we’ll probably see more of that across the world. And I believe that open banking has been the catalyst to much of that, because open banking, to your point, the banks have put in essentially customer APIs that they’ve been regulated to do it in a number of markets. And now the banks are thinking we’ll spend a lot of money on KYC. They spent a lot of money on putting out APIs. How can they generate value out of all that investment? And one way of doing that is, is to get into the digital identity market. So I think we’re seeing that framework of open banking acting as a driver. So I think there is a balance and the balance will vary by market. But generally in most developed markets, what we’re going to see is governments acting as facilitators, banks looking to commercialize, but to commercialize by giving their citizens access to their own data to cut fraud from the banks point of view, to underpin digital trust and Sareen to mediate for the digital generation and put banking at the heart of digital trust in the digital economy. Just as as you can trust them with the money. You can trust these guys too to not manipulate, misuse you data. So I think that’s an it it’s that battle going on there for, you know, who really wants to be in this space, who thinks they need to be in this space where the banks struggle a little bit? Cameron is they don’t always have heads of digital identity. Candidly, you should have they don’t always have people at CEO level that, you know, come from a digital background. All these these these these people are brilliant people. And so they will get it when they’re reeducated, informed. And I think that’s what’s been happening through organizations like yourselves, that Liminal and others that have been saying to the banks, Hey, hey, you know, you need to have a role here, otherwise you risk being disintermediated. As we see new technologies and big tech moving more and more into this market. And you’re well aware of some of the announcements that Apple and Google and others have made over the last year, two years. The pandemic is definitely been an accelerator. You’re well aware of some of the acquisitions that some of these companies have made around point of sale software, some of the patents they put in place around identity networks and some of the pilots they’ve been involved in. So there’s a real if you like, I come back to this maybe potential land grab who really wants to have an intimate relationship with the digital customer who feels that’s the most important thing for their business model going forward? And it’s probably all of these guys. And the question is, where does that market ultimately shape? And, you know, who could come to be the player in that market? And certainly in many parts of Europe, the banks are the main player they have become because of the popularity with the consumers use of a bank, they’ve effectively become a one estate. So I think it’s it’s difficult to know exactly where all this will go. We we can’t look exactly in a crystal ball, can we? But I think the momentum is increasingly now up towards this battle for this space. And how does that work? And I think finally, what I certainly have seen is that one of the things about identity is that, you know, when you’re talking to corporates, there’s a lot of education. You know, why do you even need a digital identity? Well, what is that? How does that help me? How is it different? Why don’t I just let the consumer type their data in and tell me they are who they say they are or they might not be? What about synthetic identities? Oh, yeah, that is a problem for us now. So you got to have education. So the business model of how you educate corporates, you know, that’s still being established. We have our particular views, one ID on how that can work and we think it is collaboration with the banks and the banks, seeing this as a strategic opportunity and talking to their corporates. But I think that that part of the market hasn’t been completely resolved because there is a need to educate, inform and, you know, promote, sell market these types of products to to the corporate community. So they start to use the more widely.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:21:53] So I think the last piece of this puzzle that we’re we’re unpacking is, you know, the business model side of things, the the levers that are going to induce, you know, investment, for lack of a better word, based on on profit opportunity. Obviously, you think this is a quite the attractive market because you founded a company in the space. Curious to think about, you know, where you see the business model of this space headed and you know where the opportunity lies. I presume, you know, it is not necessarily on charging money for the initial validation of of identities, but more so on an ongoing basis. Being able to, you know, extract sounds harsh but, you know, collect revenue from the re-use of these identities. And that’s kind of the snowball rolling downhill within the ecosystem is we induce as many people to to come into the ecosystem and then you can begin collecting tolls once these people start moving around, you know? Is that how you see it? And and what do you see as the biggest competitors from an economic perspective to, you know, the wider roll out of the bank ID model?

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:23:08] Yeah. That’s again, a great question. I mean, if you look at the economic models of the bank I.D. systems in the Nordics, what you’ve got effectively is ecosystem models where the banks can get some return on the investment they’ve made with KYC, resellers, connect in the markets, educate corporates and sell products. Value added resellers can wrap signing services around the identity. So it’s pretty easy to to be able to to sign sensitive contracts such as a mortgage contract, mortgage agreement or conveyancing agreement, real estate. So I think that. We’re certainly seeing a world where that type of of of scenario is is, if you like, driving a commercial model. And if we compare that type of commercial model, that architecture of a market ecosystem with operating companies in the middle, like on digital, I don’t see that facilitate. What what we’re really looking at is, is a model that sits alongside the way that corporates already go about identifying people. And that model is usually driven by, you know, credit bureau data. So I spend a fair bit of time with some of the seniors at different credit bureaus talking about this market. But you know that their market is the selling of data, not the selling of a digital identity, but actually what the corporates really want in many cases is not the data. But to know who you really are, who you say you are. They want the identity. They want an authentication at the point of use, typically a strong customer investigation. So what you’ve got is, is you’ve got a market to a certain extent that has some element of disintermediation of the credit bureaus who already charge, you know, millions, hundreds of millions to the corporate base for providing a data solutions. Now, I would argue this is complementary because you still want to credit check your digital identity, may not have the credit check data in it all, but digital identity tells you that person is really there. It’s not a synthetic. It’s not somebody who’s doing an imposter attack. So I think that the commercial models of the Nordics really are about offering choice to the corporates as an alternative or alongside the services of credit bureaus and other actors. And what we have seen in in the market, as you well know, is a whole range of companies trying to bridge the analog to digital gap by creating ID scan services. And, you know, this is a sort of hybrid place where, you know, if I scan an I.D., you know, could be me. I mean, if I do a likeness check and the algorithm checks, it’s the same as the picture on the passport of the driving license. It really should be me, shouldn’t it? And these companies have done a great job. I mean, we know that several of them in the market, Jimmy was very well-known on Efeitos, very well known. These guys have plugged that gap, the analog to digital gap. But, you know, it’s not a reusable identity, is it? It’s you know, it’s a one off for an onboarding process and it says it’s probably made the other end of the line. So I think that the models of those companies cloud based on the models that will drive platform plays in the identity space like ourselves and others, and it will be about price points. We’re finding out price points quite similar to the price points for credit bureau type data, for example. And the our architectures will sit alongside some of these existing actors and maybe companies will be acquired. I suspect there’s already been a lot of acquisition of digital network companies. Threat Matrix is, you know, was acquired by LexisNexis a few years back, over $800 million and there have been similar acquisitions. So I think we’ll see some of the established providers of data wanting to be in the digital identity market and acquiring companies, the platforms that can provide a value in that space. And that’s going to be the cash opportunity for a number of companies in the space who will probably grow quickly and be worth several hundred million dollars in a relatively short period of time. Now, I’m not saying that’s where we’re going to go, but that’s what I can see a number of companies in market going. And, you know, hopefully that gives you a sense of some of the dynamics. But they are ecosystem plays and effectively you are competing with providers in the market but providing something they don’t provide, which is the authentication at the point of use. So you really are you say you are not an imposter, not a synthetic.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:28:08] And you know, the other element that I’ve always found to be a really interesting side of things is the risk apportionment side. And you know how networks are tackling this challenge of, I guess, liability, you know, to put it in in terms of the traditional payment rails, like the liability shift, as you’d refer to it in the in the credit card side of things. You know, I think what has been a hindrance in the U.S. to reusable, you know, bank centered digital identities is the fundamental kind of regulatory barrier whereby the U.S. government says, look, if you are a bank, you can outsource anything you want to some degree with regard to your anti-money laundering and know your customer and, you know, customer information programs. But if you end up doing something, you know, negligent, like letting Osama bin Laden, I guess Osama bin Laden’s ghost, you know, open a bank account and and remit money to Iran. You are going to be the one who faces the consequences. You you can’t pass the buck on who gets the regulatory fine based on who actually performed the KYC. It’s your responsibility. I think the U.K. has really been a leader in working with, you know, the U.K., FSA and the regulatory sandbox to to think about models where you can have a network model that that enables reliance on outside party identity verification without opening up this risk that, you know, a bank is going to get hammered because some other partner in the network passed them along an identity that ended up not being trustworthy. You know, how are you thinking about this challenge? And and do you think it’s regulators that are a primary impediment here? Or is there a kind of a, you know, a risk or culture shift that needs to take place within the banks internally to kind of prepare them for an era of collaboration as opposed to kind of silent rivalry where everyone is just building out their own identity stack in parallel with one another.

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:30:18] Lots of things in that question are open. Banking in the U.K. passes data that the consumer can use from the bank without a liability model. And it really is then about the corporate that’s using that data to say whether they think that the fact that somebody was able to log into their bank and go through all the security suggests, it’s really them or not. And those systems, now that the banks have, as you know, are so sophisticated, there’s so much technology because they’re protecting your money against fraud, an attack, particularly impostor takeover, you know, companies like Bio Cash Threat Matrix and others, you know, these are standards now in many of the banks. And yet most people hadn’t even heard of them ten years ago. So I think that we have seen an awful lot of work for the banks to say, you know, we have high confidence to your point when it comes to payments. You know, there is a weakness in the strategy and that, you know, corporates kind of allow a consumer to make a payment on the credit card. But is it really them? And that’s something that, you know, is getting sorted in Europe with the mandating of strong customer authentication under psd2. And here Europe, I would argue, is ahead of much of the rest of the world. So this is a situation where you have to check the identity. It’s a little bit back to front. You make the payment and then you check the identity at the end. Why aren’t you asking people for their identity and saying, Do you accept I can make this payment? So I think that there’s much a balance in the world of regulation. There are changes that will be brought out that will impact this market for sure by regulators and governments, but that actually the lack of liability models are not the stumbling block. They’re not the stumbling block. In fact, the banks themselves have to actually think, I believe, certainly in talking to many of them, of this idea of let’s get the identity out there to people, because if they really do prove they are who they say they are, we’re less likely to have a problem, and particularly we’re much less likely to have fraud. This is a big issue across major economies at the moment. As you know, the banks are very concerned about the levels of fraud and the fact that a lot of business has gone online over the pandemic. The big corporates are concerned about the fact that they’ve been targeted by fraudsters as well. So I think it’s actually we shouldn’t think about this as an obstacle. It’s the it’s the obvious. If I get the data out there, I can reduce some of these risks. I can reduce my fraud risk. And I think that that’s probably what we will see. Will we see banks enter the market guaranteeing identities and charging more? I don’t think so. But it might happen. We’ll have to see.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:33:26] I remain ever hopeful, as you know. And, you know, on that same vein, you know, would love to get a kind of a pulse check on the bank side from you around how they’re feeling about, you know, continuing to open up, for lack of a better word, I think. Hopefully we are kind of through the looking glass in terms of banks recognizing that, well, one, you know, open banking and interoperability are are here to stay and to innovate or die, right? Yeah. I understand the reticence that, hey, look, if I’m a bank and we all in an open banking, nothing is keeping my customers on the ranch other than the quality and level of service that I can provide them to some degree, that, you know, lowering friction enables consumers to move around and and that can be a net good or or potentially a net negative for your platform if, you know, greasing the skids means more people are proverbially skidding away from you. It feels like we are. We’re kind of past that in the sense that, you know, it’s de rigueur that you you support interoperability and some degree of open banking. Are you getting the sense that bank executives are realizing that this is this is not just something that they should do, but something that they must do to remain competitive and to meet the needs of their customers.

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:35:00] You know, I’ll give you the Canadian example. You know, I spend time with some great people in Canada and particularly in Toronto. The banks there, I would say, I would argue, have been leaders in this space. And, you know, what they have perhaps felt initially and my own opinion of this, because they haven’t told me this, but my own opinion, what I sense is, you know, identity networks where they provide value into the network was seen as a means to reduce KYC costs, improve, you know, KYC type utilities where banks could potentially share information and people didn’t have to check, you know, have multiple KYC checks because it had multiple banks that might have been an initial driver. But if you keep those networks, proprietary regulators are all over you. You know, if you say, look, you know, damn is the fintech. You want to sell some cool new mortgage lifestyle products. You know, we’re the bank. We do mortgages. You know, you can’t have any of this stuff. If you do that, you just accelerate the engagement with regulators saying, hang on a second, we need more competitive markets. Consumers need more choice, we need more innovation. So I do think that and I’m seeing this particularly in Canada, for example, where, you know, the banks have built architectures that maybe were somewhat closed. And now the regulators are saying, well, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, we need open banking here. You know, we need open banking. You guys are going to share this stuff. So I think that, you know, that trend is is is happening pretty much globally in open banking in Brazil, Mexico and many other places and, you know, accelerating. So I think we are seeing banking executives say, look, there is a paradigm shift. You know, we don’t have to to, you know, just sit on the fence over this. We can be active players. We certainly have relationships with banks who’ve innovated and created APIs, the commercial premier APIs, where they can recognize this value. And as long as that data is, is consent driven, you know, for the consumer and the consumer has a better life and they feel that they’re being empowered and the bank has a better relationship with the consumer because they’re helping empower them. That’s high value, that’s really sticky. So I do think there is a little bit of a paradigm shift. And I think, you know, my own view is that banks are best placed to underpin digital trust for the digital economy. And they sort of got to do it because of the dumb big tech will do it. And and, you know, they may not have the ability to control their fraud and their business models might may have to change their relationships may get diluted. I don’t think you should. Good enough answer to your question.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:38:00] I think that’s a fantastic answer. I mean, look, you know, the devil is in the details or the nuance, as they say. And, you know, I think this is a space where there is a tremendous amount of nuance and, you know, the the paths forward. I think, to some degree, I think what we can all agree on is we know where, you know, the market is headed. It’s just a question of the subtle nuance of kind of, you know, who some of those exact winners and losers are going to be to bring us to go ahead.

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:38:33] Just on that point, are the winners will be the people that that act. You know, and and that can be really tough for, you know, financial institutions that are looking of the money and are focused on risk. On the management of risk. But really, you know, what’s going on now with big tech and the aspirations they have of the financial. Of collaborations they’re forming, the financial power they have to bring products of that compete directly with the banks to market. I think it’s it’s those that will act. And we have found tremendous digital innovators in some of the banks in the U.K.. Really tremendous, you know, people who built entirely digital banks saying, look, this is this is our mojo, this is what we do. So we will be in the digital identity market will work with you. So I think that that, you know, an action and the action that we’re seeing is the best form of protection.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:39:37] So to bring it to a close here shameless plug opportunity where you know where can folks go to learn more about what you’ve built to get in touch with you? How do you like them to reach out if they’re interested and want to, you know, get into this ecosystem? What’s the best place for them to go?

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:39:59] Well, thank you for the shameless plug. I’ll accept it, you know, because there’s an industry conversation. But I’m on LinkedIn under Robert K, OTL, Lazy Z. So please feel free to reach out to me and connect if you feel that these areas of interest to you. You know, we talk to investors all the time. My next call, in fact, is an investor call. We talk to media all the time and my fellow board directors are available also for conversations. So, you know, people can reach out that way. But I think we would urge people to say, have a good look at this market. You know, because there are colossal opportunities in this market. If you can get the right place in the market and you can do good for society at the same time. And you know that that’s a good thing for everybody.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:40:57] Fantastic. Well, Rob, thank you so much. This was ever illuminating, as always. And I think that, you know, the depth and breadth of both your knowledge and experience are on full display. Thank you again for your time and for folks who want to learn more, check out the links that he called out in those show notes below.

 

Rob Kotlarz [00:41:15] We’re also a digital identity net and one ID product you can find relatively easily on the web. Thank you to your audience and Cameron, thank you to Liminal. Keep doing the great work made just now.

 

Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:41:26] Thank you so much.

Episode 306

The reusable identity credential space contains a host of competing standards, applications, and different approaches to solving the fundamental challenges of digital identity at scale. In this week’s State of Identity podcast, host Cameron D’Ambrosi sits down with Nick Mason CEO of ProofSpace to discuss their unique go-to-market approach in solving these roadblocks.

Episode 305

On this week’s State of Identity podcast host, Cameron D’Ambrosi sits down with Saif Malik, Co-Founder at Keyri. This duo discusses the biggest barriers for consumers that are a driving force for the fundamental shift away from the current authentication paradigms.  

Episode 304

On this week’s State of Identity episode host, Cameron D’Ambrosi welcomes Fredrik Nilsson, CEO, and Daniel Carrillo, Product Director & Technology Evangelist at Binaria Technologies. This trio discusses Binaria’s unique approach to facilitating adoption of self-sovereign identity in Latin America and how they are cracking the “cold start” problem facing user-centric digital identity platforms globally.

Episode 303

How do you give developers the ability to build convenient and privacy-preserving authentication solutions into their products? Join this week’s State of Identity podcast with host Cameron D’Ambrosi and Dock CEO Nick Lambert to discuss their release of Web3 ID, a blockchain-based authentication and authorization system that puts user privacy first. 

Episode 302

In this month’s Investing in Identity series, we discuss Thoma Bravo’s incredible sequence of recent deals, including their third identity and access management (IAM) company this year:
  • Sailpoint for $6.9B
  • PingIdentity for $2.8B
  • ForgeRock for $2.3B
Hear from our experts as they dissect Thoma Bravo’s strategy for the identity market, its potential next move as it takes these companies private, and how to find product-market fit in a private equity investment playbook. 

Episode 300

It’s our 300th State of Identity episode! For this special edition, host, Cameron D’Ambrosi welcomes an all-star trio with decades of experience and insights – Adri Loloci, Senior Global Product Manager at Vodafone Identity Hub, Helene Vigue, Identity and Data Director at GSMA, and Glyn Povah, Global Product Development at Telefónica Tech. The dynamic conversation covers the mobile operators that are opening up APIs to support fraud detection and prevention and reduce friction for users. Turn in as we discuss the concrete example of Number Verify – a seamless, SIM-based verification that the user is in possession of their mobile device.

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