Industry Backs AP+ ConnectID for Aussie Digital Identity

1 September 2022

ConnectID trials to begin this year and launch expected in 2023

Major Australian banks, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), National Australia Bank Limited (NAB), and Westpac, announce their support behind Australian Payments Plus’ (AP+) development and establishment of an open, standards-based national identity infrastructure called ConnectID, to protect customer privacy and drive productivity in the Digital Economy.

Lynn Kraus, CEO AP+ said "This is a major milestone for the Australian industry’s adoption of digital identity, aiming to securely and simply deliver a seamless online identity verification experience to solve real world issues. This includes proving your identity online for age verification, setting up mobile phone plans, employee onboarding, travel bookings, loan applications and can even extend through to insurance pay outs.

For customers this means they will be able to verify their identity online simply and safely using ConnectID, an Australian digital identity network. ConnectID makes it easy to verify who you are online, using the organisations you already trust. It also allows you to share only the information that is required, at the time it is needed, giving customers complete control over how their personal information is used and peace of mind knowing their data is being kept safe at every step.

A strong digital identity ecosystem as envisaged for ConnectID, not only provides more control and security for customers, but recent global reports have estimated the economic benefit and value for countries like Australia, equates to around 3% GDP by 20301

The newly formed Australian Payments Plus (AP+), brings together digital identity initiatives of BPAY and eftpos in a combined best-in-class proposition demonstrating the benefits behind the recent consolidation of Australia’s three domestic payment organisations, BPAY Group, eftpos and NPP Australia into the one entity.

Ms Kraus said: “Customer trials are expected in late 2022 followed by a market launch next year. ConnectID is already accredited under the Australian Government’s Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF).”

“We are excited that AP+ can deliver innovation, security, and convenience to the daily lives of Australian consumers and businesses through the creation of a national digital identity ecosystem with ConnectID,” Ms Kraus said.

“In Australia there is a real need to facilitate identity verification methods to reduce costs and enhance compliance outcomes for businesses, help reduce the hassle as well as instances of fraud and identity theft for Australians, while improving the ‘digital trust’ between customers and vendors.”

Andrew Black, Managing Director ConnectID AP+ said: “Australians trust the security and reliability of their banks and payments providers, for that reason developing a robust, standards-based digital identity ecosystem that can be used by major banks and trusted Australian organisations is a natural extension for AP+.”

ConnectID is committed to help Australian banks, businesses and local retailers protect the sovereignty and security of Australian payments and identity data,” Mr Black added.

Delivering more control and better privacy protection for consumers to share and receive verified personal identity information online, the participation of some of Australia’s largest banks in ConnectID would provide the scale and trust needed to drive widespread consumer and business adoption.

CBA’s General Manager, Open Data, Katherine Sleeth said: “We are pleased to help our customers have more control of their data and privacy, enabling them to share their personal information with approved merchants, backed by the security of the CommBank app. The quick online process will save customers time and help keep them safe online.”

NAB Chief Digital, Data and Analytics Officer, Angela Mentis, said the bank was proud to play an integral role in bringing digital identity to the Australian market, with customer empowerment top of mind for the bank throughout the process.

“NAB’s priority in helping bring digital identity to life has been to empower customers with choice - to verify their identity how and when they want, whilst ensuring privacy and personal data is protected,” Ms Mentis said.

“We think that digital identity will be the most crucial enabler of safe and secure interactions in our future economy, and are certain that customers can have trust in this solution.”

The ConnectID team is collaboratively working with governments, businesses, online merchants, banks and other identity providers with a view to building identity into our national payments infrastructure, as well as other commercial applications for all Australians and Australian businesses.

ConnectID is taking an inclusive, economy-wide approach, working with organisations from sectors such as banking, telecom, online retail, government, insurance, utilities, transportation, real estate, not-for-profit and the start-up and fintech community.

Australian Payments Plus’ ConnectID facilitates an ‘exchange’ between identity providers, organisations that securely hold identity data on behalf of their customers, and merchants or government departments that need to verify who they are dealing with or receive identity information that they can trust. AP+ is uniquely placed to offer this service, particularly for interactions requiring a payment.

While ConnectID securely facilitates the identity verification or data exchange, it does not see or store the identity data. Identity service providers store consumer identities and take responsibility for providing this secure information only under the consent of the customer.

As interoperability is key to the ConnectID solution, it is designed to complement identity and credential-related services provided by government and work within the Federal Government’s Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) financial industry privacy and security frameworks, as well as emerging international standards in distributed digital identity credentials.

1 McKinsey Global Institute, Digital Identification, April 2019, pg 65


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