Adoption of digital IDs would help unlock Canada’s economy, bankers say

The Canadian flag blows in the wind in the heart of the financial district in Toronto.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

Canada needs to embrace digital identification to “unlock the full potential” of banking and the economy, Canadian Bankers Association Chief Executive Officer Neil Parmenter said.

“We should be open to innovative identity verification methods like document review through a live video connection, use of blockchain, biometrics and other methods that have begun to see widespread adoption in other parts of the economy,” Parmenter said Tuesday in a lunch speech in Toronto. “These methods have the potential to prove a person’s identity more securely and accurately than showing physical identification.”

The Canadian Bankers Association’s push comes as the country revamps its payments system and the federal finance department seeks public consultations on “open banking,” a process that would let customers share financial data with other companies. The CBA represents more than 60 domestic and foreign banks operating in Canada.

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