The FinTech Chemist: Digital Identity Has Reached a Boiling Point

Studying the properties and composition that make up the FinTech ecosystem

Welcome to this week’s industry analysis with the FinTech Chemist. While I may not be literally mixing solutions and preparing reagents, I am studying and testing out the latest and greatest in FinTech. I recently attended the KNOW Identity Conference in Las Vegas, and here’s what I was able to formulate over the three days:

At its basic definition, the kinetic theory is the explanation of how particles in matter behave. If I had to sum up KNOW 2019, it showcased new behavior of an industry in flux.

It struck home when David Birch, one of the keynote speakers at KNOW Identity, said, I’ve said many times that we need an identity infrastructure that deals with the realities of this modern world.

Which is why it was exciting and a little surprising to see large enterprises like Airbnb and Uber make an appearance this year in the exhibit hall. Interestingly, they all showed up with a common goal of bolstering their identity technology stacks. It’s a sharp reminder that these issues exist in every market, whether it is financial services, government, or various sharing economy players.

I certainly felt a chain reaction ripple through the audience when David Birch declared World War 3.0 has already begun. While the word choice may seem extreme and dramatic, he really drove home why attendees should be taking that statement seriously.

Birch went on to say, It’s just that this time we’re in a cyberwar and our identity infrastructure needs to support mobilization across virtual and mundane realms. World War 3.0 has already started, but many people haven’t noticed because it’s in the matrix. It is fair to say the industry has reached a boiling point when it comes to data and security.

Mastercard was a standout at the conference as they announced and launched a new white paper called Restoring Trust in a Digital World. The 28-page document discusses Mastercard’s views on how digital identity will evolve and work moving forward. Mastercard is not taking their stance on digital identity lightly.

As stated in their white paper, In historical terms, our digital interactions have evolved in the blink of an eye – this has inevitably challenged the notions of identity, trust, and privacy with which we have traditionally anchored ourselves in the physical world. Mastercard is investing in an ecosystem for trusted digital interactions. We are creating a new digital identity system that works for everyone. One that is more secure, more inclusive, more convenient, and does a better job of protecting people’s privacy.

While there is no single one-size-fits-all solution, it’s fair to say that there are several catalysts in place to drive industry innovation forward and create a world of inclusion and trust. I left Las Vegas feeling hopeful that major industry participants are making these issues a priority. Now, onto my next scientific… I mean FinTech hypothesis adventure. Also, as always, remember to take your vitamins!


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