Smart Tokens for Authentication and Identity Services

In Featured, Security, Tokenization by Jay Welch

Identity tokens have the potential to expedite the ID process and dramatically reduce labour costs.

This time of year, even where I live in the Maritimes, everything is busier than usual. Recently I was at the liquor store in a lineup 10-deep with customers stocking up for their New Years Eve parties. All the way at the front of the queue, a patron, who could easily be on either side of 19 years old, fumbled with his wallet trying (without much success) to find two pieces of ID that proved his legal drinking status.

The whole process suddenly struck me as archaic. How is it that we still need to pull out a piece of plastic to show our age, and that a piece of plastic is as sophisticated as the process gets?

Imagine instead that this fellow’s age was verified instantly in the moment of purchase, using technology embedded in the payment method itself. In order to be coded into the payment method, his identity had already been vetted in a process far more sophisticated than a speedy eyeball check in a busy line of Christmas shoppers.

Smart tokens make this new level of identity services possible. When payment technologies are layered with additional relevant information—information that’s transmitted simultaneously in the moment of purchase—there is huge potential for verification and ID.

We’re already seeing innovation like this at large music festivals—high tech bracelets not only secure your admission, but are preloaded with funds to reduce the time and hassle of producing cash. Now imagine that same bracelet also verified that the wearer was 19+ (or 21+ for our southerly neighbours). It cuts out a huge logistical step and hours of manpower. Traditionally festival attendees get an additional bracelet to indicate they are of drinking age, which involves another queue (or several), staff to check ID and issue the bracelet, and security to man the beer garden entrance.

Consider how that technology might apply to online gambling or adult websites where you need certain checks in place to confirm the participant is legally of age. In much of the world these sites require you to use your official electronic ID—but it’s far too much information to give gambling providers, and many don’t want that level of information because they then need to meet requirements for handling that data. These providers simply want to know that the user is 19 or older.

Similarly, when you check into a hotel or pick up a rental car, it often feels like you need to empty your wallet before they’ll issue a key. Between membership cards, drivers licenses, passports and credit cards—so much data gets typed into registration systems. All that data can be stored and issued in your payment product with the help of smart tokens, cutting the check-in time by more than half.

Smart tokens for identity services not only offer a huge potential to save time and costs—they open up possibilities for e-identification and authentication that we haven’t even explored yet. Carta can make these possibilities a reality. Get in touch to talk about bringing smart tokenization to your payment product.