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“Our increasingly digital life – the way we transact and interact – has challenged our traditional notions of identity, trust and privacy. We need a new model,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence for Mastercard. “We believe that this starts with a commitment to the responsible handling of personal information, giving consumers control over which data is used and how it is used to verify their identity.”

The pilot program will test a new way for people to prove their identity without having to carry multiple documents. Instead, the model allows the data to sit with its rightful owner – the user.

It will activate a distributed model that blends information stored on an individual’s mobile device and verified by additional reference points, such as an individual’s bank or participating government agencies. It eliminates the need for a centralized identity database.

The initial phase of the pilot with Deakin University featured student volunteers testing an identity verification process for student registration and digital exams at the Burwood and Geelong campuses in Victoria. To support its identity efforts, Mastercard has entered into a separate partnership with Australia Post to integrate the agency’s existing Digital iD solution and expand the ability for Australians to identify themselves easily when accessing services.

Mastercard’s consumer-centric approach was outlined in a Principles of Digital Identity vision paper earlier this year. Following these initial efforts, additional partnerships and pilots will be introduced across a number of markets throughout 2020.

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