Leveraging the national digital identity system



The Manila Times


Sunday Business & It

DIGITAL PhilID is here to stay, and an overwhelming adoption of biometrics in the Philippines might soon happen. Through the single national identification system, businesses and organizations could be granted access to citizen data without the hassle of verifying a physical identity card. But, for most, it’s not a simple plug-and-play. Businesses must assess their needs and see how the integration of digital ID verification systems could complement their existing business processes, while providing seamless experience, convenience, and security. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. made the order to accelerate the digitalization of the National Identification system during a meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council on Digital Infrastructure early this year. With the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the governments of the Philippines and Singapore, digital ID interoperability between the two countries is likely on the way. Anna Maye Yu Lamentillo, spokesman and undersecretary at the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), revealed that this MoU centers on digital connectivity, cybersecurity, digital government/e-governance, and digital identity. During an interview with Frederic Ho, vice president of Asia Pacific at Jumio, we delved into the importance of digital identity verification and authentication. As a provider of automated, end-toend identity proofing, risk assessment and eKYC (Electronic Know Your Customer) solutions, Jumio predicts more industries would leverage biometric authentication in their innovations and regulations to improve users’ experience while strengthening safeguards against cyberattacks. According to Ho, this agreement would bring significant economic benefits. The MoU aims to facilitate government-to-government collaboration, allowing for the sharing of data of Filipino and Singaporean citizens, making it easier for digital businesses to expand. Ho believes that engaging in similar discussions at the global level would be challenging, despite the progress made in digital identity integration by Singapore and the Philippines. Although Ho considers the MoU a good start for both countries, he also recognizes that going into these types of projects tend to be difficult, especially on the agreement of standards and policies and data privacy. Ho suggests that commercial provider Jumio could fill the gap since its services are already available. This is where Jumio KYX Platform comes in. As defined in their website, the “X” in KYX could be your customer, your patient, your business partner, your driver, or any host of end users. The platform streamlines fraud and eKYC/ Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance management with the one-stop orchestration hub, which brings together global data, risk signals, real-time analytics, actionable insights and a configurable rules engine to help businesses defend against fraud without compromising user experience. The four core features cited by Ho are important: facial biometrics and government identification; risk signals; screening; and continuous authentication. To anchor the remote user’s identity, facial biometrics and government identification are used. Afterward, risk signals are applied. For example, is the mobile number, device or email address associated with fraudulent activity? These signals are aggregated and called risk signals. Third, screening is used to scrutinize an individual against government lists (e.g., terrorist list or sanctions list) to check they are “clear” and not a high-risk user. Authentication is a key element in this process, which confirms the authenticity of the person attempting to withdraw a substantial amount of money like hundreds of thousands of pesos. Using biometrics is the latest trend compared to using SMS OTP or using passwords because there are limitations to passwords and OTP. The use of biometrics for authentication requires the user to verify an identity by taking and submitting a new photo of their face. If any discrepancy arises and it does not match with what was on file, then the transaction would not be approved. As regulatory environments and fraud threats change, more organizations would leverage a single, comprehensive digital identity verification vendor to expand beyond borders. At the same time, Ho believes they could benefit from the flexibility to scale and customize compliance workflows according to the ever-evolving fraud threats and regulatory landscape. Leveraging the national digital identity system requires a comprehensive and strategic approach that involves collaboration between government, businesses, and individuals. By doing so, we could unlock the full potential of the system and realize its benefits for all stakeholders.