Australian Payments Plus (AP+) has gone live with ConnectID, a digital identity protection service.
The new offering allows people to securely verify their identity to third parties without repeatedly sharing unnecessary data about themselves, according to ConnectID officials.
Instead of providing proof of identity documents, customers can now ask a participating business to verify their information using organizations they already trust with their data, such as their bank.
“This new service will help customers reduce oversharing their data, giving them greater control over what data is being shared and used and choosing which organizations they trust to store their personal information,” said Andrew Black, ConnectID’s managing director.
“What’s important to know is that ConnectID is not creating new honeypots of data; in fact, we never see or store customer data,” he added. “And from a business perspective, the ability to collect only what is required means they can comply with legislation and reduce their risk profile.”
AP+ resulted from a complex series of negotiations that saw Australia’s competition regulator permitting the country’s three largest domestic payment companies, BPAY Group, Eftpos and NPP Australia, to merge into a single entity in September 2021.
Eftpos Australia initially developed ConnectID. In 2021, it became the first non-government operator of a digital identity exchange to be accredited under the Australian government’s Trusted Digital Identity Framework, which sets standards, rules and guidelines based on international best practices.
Since then, the service has had strong industry support from various “strategic partners,” including Australia’s four major banks. So far, only Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank have made ConnectID available to their customers for “a number of use cases.”
“We recognize this is something that no individual bank can deliver effectively on its own, and it made sense for us to work with AP+, which is an experienced network operator and has existing relationships with the banks,” said Angela Mentis, chief digital, data and analytics officer at NAB. The other two major banks, Westpac and ANZ, have yet to offer ConnectID services to their customers.