MARLBOROUGH, Mass.–A progress update has been given on a credit union-backed initiative aimed at creating a global digital identity solution for CU members.
Known as MyCUID, the effort is part of CULedger, which was launched in 2016 by the MountainWest Credit Union Association and which has since expanded to include CUNA, with investments in the millions of dollars from approximately 40 organizations. In its broadest sense, CULedger is a cross-border distributed ledger platform based on blockchain, but the initial focus is on creating MyCUID solution.
MyCUID is being developed in concert with Everynym and is aimed at helping members to “confidently protect themselves from financial fraud and identity theft,” according to organizers.
Lifetime Portable Digital Identity
“With the help of Evernym's Sovrin Identity Network, MyCUID uses a person-to-person network of distributed, private agents working in parallel with the distributed ledger to give credit union members a lifetime portable digital identity that does not depend on any central authority and can never be taken away,” the company explains on its website.
By enabling selective disclosure, identity owners can control how much data is shared in a particular context, the company added.
“Our goal is to create the premier digital exchange for financial cooperatives,” said Julie Esser, chief experience officer with CULedger.
What MyCUID Will Provide
According to Esser, who offered the update during an event hosted by DCU at its headquarters, MyCUID will provide:
- Credentials. The ability to use centralized credentials
- Correspondence. “This is the use of smart contracts and ability to automate a lot of processes. We are looking at it in terms of loan participations and creating a network of credit unions around the world.”
- Currency. “We’re not looking at cryptocurrency, but the concept of cross-border payments is our focus.”
Why Identity Management Matters
As Mark Sievewright had noted in introductory remarks (see related story), secure identity management has the potential to be a key market differentiator moving forward, and Esser stressed the same theme, pointing out that in 2018 approximately 140-million consumer records were compromised.
MyCUID will be the first KYC complaint’
“Interaction with a credit union starts with identifying who you are,” explained Esser, stressing what credit unions really want is just one seamless way to authenticate members regardless of channel.
Darrell O’Donnell, CTO with CULedger, stressed the point, adding, “We realized that if we don’t nail identity we do not have a foundation.”
To that end, MyCUID has focused on two areas: Ensuring the process is simple, fast and secure for the member so it doesn’t “feel weird,” and ongoing work with CUs, CUSOs and vendors to understand some of the complexities behind the scenes, such as contact centers.
CULedger will be invisible to the member so the transaction is between the member and the credit union. “CULedger is identifying the member. It’s the digital equivalent of having something in your wallet.”
O’Donnell noted the scope of identification isn’t limited to credit unions; it could be used with a car dealer, for instance.
MyCUID was described as a credential that can be used across all channels where the member logs in, walks in or calls in.
During the presentation CULedger’s execs did not provide any firm timeline for roll out. Credit unions interested in getting more information were directed to MyCUID.com or MyCULedger.com.