Averting an identity crisis
Who wouldn't like to be wallet-free? Since the introduction of mobile smart payments with a tap of your phone, the need to carry around physical cards is fading fast.
But having a piece of ID on hand is a reason to still carry a wallet, and ID is one of a short list of things that has yet to be digitized due to security and privacy concerns.
From their extensive experience in the identity and access management space, Bluink co-founders Steve Borza and Larry Hamid realized early the security capabilities of fingerprint scanners on smartphones. With its latest development, the Ottawa-based cybersecurity company is enabling users to have ID readily accessible on their phones.
Bluink’s app, eID-Me, allows users to safely carry identity documents electronically, on their smartphones. Through back-end verification, the app easily adds new cards and issues a certificate-based identity to the phone. This enables citizens to use their smartphone to login to government and commercial websites without using a password. They can also prove their identity in medical clinics and age-restricted stores, and eliminates the need to visit Service Ontario centers to apply for identity cards or services.
In 2017, the Government of Ontario launched the Small Business Innovation Challenge (SBIC), a program that supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a platform to develop and test innovative solutions to public sector challenges. With support from SBIC, Bluink is demonstrating strong identity proofing, user control over identity information, and secure logins in one place, while maintaining compatibility with identity systems and cards that are being used today.
“Our technology allows us to meet a current need in the market, where governments, banks and companies are seeking out solutions to solve the omni-channel identity problem,” says Steve Borza, CEO, Bluink Ltd. “Having the right technology at the right time makes us excited for our future growth and prospects.”
The success of the eID-Me app has drawn attention from larger enterprises within and outside of Ontario. It has allowed Bluink to grow as a company with the addition of five new employees and focus on building a complete solution that fills the gap for e-identity. Having demonstrated pilot versions of the app, Bluink will continue the development and commercialization of the system into the next year.