Canadian banks are now using blockchain to verify your identity

Jessy Bains
An abstract digital structure showing the concept of blockchain technology with hexadecimal hash data inside each block.  This image represents a conceptual design in the domain of IT, cyberspace, cyber security, cryptocurrency or similar industry sectors. The image is a made up 3D concept render.
An abstract digital structure showing the concept of blockchain technology with hexadecimal hash data inside each block. This image represents a conceptual design in the domain of IT, cyberspace, cyber security, cryptocurrency or similar industry sectors. The image is a made up 3D concept render.

Canada’s biggest banks are adopting IBM (IBM) and Linux’s blockchain technology to help clients digitally identify themselves.

A new mobile app called Verified.Me works with your online banking app by using personal information you’ve agreed to share.

“Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a house, a car, cash, land) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, branding).

“Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved,” said IBM in Blockchain for Dummies.

So far, Royal Bank (RY.TO), TD (TD.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), CIBC (CM.TO), and Desjardins Group are on board. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and National Bank (NA.TO) will join soon.

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“Verified.Me uses blockchain technology to make the online identification process faster, more private and more secure for consumers," said Lionel Pimpin, senior VP, digital channels at National Bank, in a news release.

"This solution aligns perfectly with National Bank's commitment to providing a simple and unified digital experience.”

Sun Life (SLF.TO) will be the first North American insurer to use the software.

The platform was developed with the help of the banks, Desjardins, telecom companies, and Equifax.

“As Canadians increasingly turn to digital channels, it’s important to continue to develop solutions that create a more seamless way for Canadians to get access to the products and services they need,” said Brett Pitts, Chief Digital Officer at BMO Financial Group, in a news release.

“With Verified.Me, Canadians can now have an easier and more secure way to share their personal information, and it puts them in control to share that information when and how they want.”

The Verified.Me app is available to iOS and Android mobile phone users through the App Store and Google Play.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains

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