HOW FINTECH AND IDENTITY MANAGEMENT INTERSECT
With FinTech and blockchain technology continuing to show up in the news more and more each year, many people are curious as to how it applies to non-financial spaces. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum may be the face of blockchain, but the technology behind them is being adapted to fit a great deal of different use cases, from medical records to food distribution and everywhere in-between. One area where blockchain is truly beginning to break out is that of identity management, and the future of how the two intersect shows an enormous deal of promise.
From digital identities and online account logins, to passports and birth certificates, the blockchain offers both individuals and service providers an entirely new form of control over how personal information is stored and accessed. Here are just a few things you need to know about how FinTech and identity management intersect, all of which are likely to change the face of identity management in the near future.
There’s no getting around the fact that Big Data matters in today’s world more than ever before, and this trend is not likely to slow down—if anything, it will pick up over time. Biometrics and personal information (think phone, email, address, SNN etc.) are becoming the name of the game when it comes to consumer data, and blockchain technology is changing the way this information is stored, distributed and accessed. There’s no telling exactly how far down the rabbit hole consumer data and blockchain technology will go, but given the interest held by companies across a wide variety of spaces, one can only assume this relationship will become more important as time goes on.
Personal consumer data certainly holds a wealth of importance, but it’s not everything. Data associated with consumer behavior can be just as useful (if not more), and the blockchain technology that drives FinTech is closely tied to both the immediate and near future of how consumer behavior is tracked throughout the globe. Digital behavior is the obvious touchpoint, however click-based and in-person behaviors will no doubt end up on the blockchain at some point as well. These advancements stand to play a major role in how identity management is viewed and utilized in the coming years, and things are just getting started.
Just about everyone has a smart phone in their pocket, and an increasing number of individuals are beginning to incorporate wearables such as fitness trackers into their lifestyles. Physical devices and blockchain are already beginning to link together—the harmony between cloud technology and Internet of Things (IoT) devices is just one example. Point of Sale (POS) systems also offer a great deal of opportunity when it comes to the intersection of FinTech and identity management, and businesses of all kinds are adopting these technologies to help streamline operations and make paying for goods and services a quick, simple process.
Digital payments are already on the blockchain—that is, with cryptocurrencies, at least. It’s only a matter of time before digital wallets become the norm, however, whether it be via big banks, private lenders or any other provider of financial services. Emerging authentication technologies are also changing the landscape of payments. Take Apple’s “Face ID” for example, which has ushered in an entirely new era of how devices are unlocked and authenticated for payment purposes. Many experts believe that even cash—notoriously difficult to trace—may soon be logged on the blockchain in some capacity, which could completely change the way that payments are made, tracked and analyzed. Though the focus will remain on digital payments for some time to come, the potential for blockchain to influence cash payments is incredible exciting and may be here sooner than many people think.
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