“Once a given student establishes their digital ID, the companies explained, they will be able to use it in a number of other areas, including opening a bank account, renting a car, or buying age-restricted goods such as alcohol.”
Brazil-based identity verification specialist idwall has teamed up with an edutech-focused compatriot and a global payments giant to develop a digital identity solution that could end up having a big impact in the Latin American market.
The effort will start with a narrow focus: idwall and Amigo Edu will develop a mobile ID app, dubbed “Meu ID”, to let students prove their identity before taking their University Admission Exams and other such academic examinations. The aim is to help students prove that they are actually who they claim to be at a time when remote examination is on the rise.
“COVID-19 altered the education landscape, creating greater opportunities for hybrid learning, while also presenting challenges – like proving your identity,” explained Amigo Edu CEO José Roberto Dantas. “In 2020 alone, we’ve had half a million students participate in a variety of exams and we’re thrilled to be adding a digital identity component to further ensure security for all parties.”
To that end, idwall’s solution leverages a ‘background check’ capability that searches public and private databases, as well as a selfie-based biometric verification system in which facial recognition is used to match an end user to their physical ID. The third partner in this effort, Mastercard, is providing “a simple and flexible API-based integration for both organizations to connect to the ID network and enable the secure sharing of the verified identity credentials,” the companies explained in a statement.
In the context of confirming the identities of students taking exams, Mastercard’s involvement may strike some as unusual. But the companies’ long-term aims are much more ambitious. Once a given student establishes their digital ID, the companies explained, they will be able to use it in a number of other areas, including opening a bank account, renting a car, or buying age-restricted goods such as alcohol.
“With this partnership, we accelerate our ambition to create a global digital identity for Latin America,” explained idwall CEO Lincoln Ando.
“With digital identity, consumers can unlock new and enhanced experiences as they interact with businesses, service providers and their communities – making it safer and more efficient to shop online, open a bank account, file taxes or book travel,” added Mastercard Cyber & Intelligence President Ajay Bhalla.
The companies have not yet offered a timeline for how their digital ID solution will roll out across its various use cases, nor have they set an initial launch date for the Meu ID itself.