22 November, 2019

‘Open Banking 3.0’ and Self-Sovereign Identity : Canada’s Global Opportunity

A white hot niche market opportunity lies in the intersection of Self Sovereign Identity with the Open Banking trend, a development that Canada is ideally positioned to lead globally.

Zaid Mahomedy of Chainstack explores this potential here.

He provides an excellent introduction to the Open Banking sector, and describes the primary concerns holding up adoption, notably data privacy concerns, and from this explores the role a permissioned Blockchain and Self Sovereign Identity system could play in addressing them, through enabling a more granular control for users of how their personal data is shared

From OAuth to SSI

To dive to a detail level we can consider our Starling Bank case study, where it identifies how they are using the OAuth 2.0 protocol to achieve the integration with their catalogue of banking app plugins. (see from 43m:10s in this video).

As Timothy Ruff CEO of Evernym describes in this blog, Self-Sovereign Identity represents a further evolution again, a third generation of Identity-centric data integration where OAuth represents a second.

SSI could evolve this component part of inter-connectivity, enhancing Open Banking with more sophisticated capabilities in line with this generational step change improvement, what we could think of as ‘Open Banking 3.0’.

Canada’s Opportunity – From Moats to Ecosystems

Canada’s massive opportunity is that they are already world leading in their pioneering adoption of SSI, including accelerating government adoption such as this Federal procurement and this British Columbia use case study.

Where they are lagging is in their adoption of Open Banking frameworks, a gap that Senator Colin Deacon is on a mission to address, such as contributing to this Senate report and through regular awareness raising and thought leadership on the topic.

His critical point about transforming digital banking models “from moats to ecosystems” is exemplified through this case study of the ‘ACE’ program being pioneered in Alberta.

In Alberta the state owned bank ATB Financial is building exactly this type of ecosystem approach, and although not necessarily doing so under a flag of Open Banking, is laying the foundations for exactly that and by doing so via Self Sovereign Identity, blazing the path as the world’s first Open Banking 3.0 implementation and reference model.

Should Canada embrace, invest in and accelerate this expertise they will emerge as the world leader in both Open Banking and also Self Sovereign Identity, two massive growth markets in their own right and astronomically huge when combined.


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