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Analysis of Apple's role in the identity verification space


Here's my analysis of Apple's role in the #identityverification space based on discussions with 20+ vendors at #money2020usa earlier this week.


I've talked to many vendors, and let me tell you, they're not sweating over Apple's #mdl rollout. In fact, most of them see it as an opportunity rather than a threat. Why? Well, for starters, Apple's reach in the global identity verification space is extremely limited. They're iOS-only, focused on airports and #tsa, and specific to the US only.


Sure, there's been some buzz about using Apple's mDL for #kyc#ekyc, but there's still a lot of uncertainty around whether relying parties will accept it or not. And while there's a clear need for identity proofing in #financialservices and other regulated industries, the rollout of mDL has been slow, which has created further headwinds for #apple and other tech giants who are trying to leverage mDLs to enter into the identity verification space.


Another reason vendors aren't worried about Apple's play is that their offering with mDL is limited to #identityproofing only, while regulated businesses have a much broader need for a suite of IDV services, including #amlcompliance#sanctionscompliance#watchlist and other compliance services. Plus, the IDV space is extremely complex, with nuances across documents, devices, and browsers that vendors have learned the hard way over the years. It's going to take Apple years to gain this kind of subject matter expertise if they decide to go it alone.


The majority of vendors I spoke with also believe that Apple's play is very limited to the US only. That's where the global IDV players see an opportunity to partner with Apple to roll out IDV services in other regions as well. So, in short, vendors are optimistic about Apple's mDL and are keeping a close eye on its play, but they're not losing any sleep over it.


I am leaving with a couple of questions in mind that could potentially shift the dynamics in this industry.

  • Suppose Apple decides to offer its identity verification services to developers on its platform. In that case, what impact would it have?

  • What if Apple acquires a global player in the IDV space?

These questions are worth pondering over.


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