Absa Group has joined the global Sovrin Foundation as a founding steward. The move will see the bank gain access to Sovrin’s self-sovereign identity (ID) platform, which uses distributed ledger technology, to enhance data security for clients.

Absa says it is the first bank in Africa to become a founding steward for the Sovrin Foundation, a global non-profit organisation for self-sovereign digital ID. The foundation operates as a public utility designed to provide permanent, private and trustworthy digital ID for any person or organisation, using distributed ledger technology or blockchain.

Its ID platform provides a lifetime portable ID, by allowing the holder to store and share verifiable credentials in a privacy-protecting way. Absa says using Sovrin’s decentralised distributed ledger technology will help it simplify ID challenges and enable clients and employees to store and update their personal information, such as FICA documents, in a self-sovereign digital ID ‘wallet’.

This will lead to lower financial transaction costs, protecting personal information and limiting opportunity for cyber crime, it notes. “Self-sovereign ID, the emerging answer to the myriad challenges associated with ID management, has the potential to not only revolutionise how we manage and secure our personal information, but also to play a key role in driving financial inclusion in Africa,” says Andrew Baker, chief technology officer at Absa Group.

“Self-sovereign ID means people and businesses can store and update their ID data in a digital ‘wallet’ on their own devices, and share it efficiently and securely with those who need to validate it. By using digital signatures and distributed ledger technology, this addresses the many gaps and challenges in securing and verifying ID-related information online, a problem inherent to the Internet since it was first developed.” Read more from itweb.co.za…

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