Unified digital identity platform planned

Unified digital identity platform planned

Digital identities combine biometrics such as fingerprints and eyescans with ID card numbers to produce a unique identity for each person. (Creative Commons illustration)
Digital identities combine biometrics such as fingerprints and eyescans with ID card numbers to produce a unique identity for each person. (Creative Commons illustration)

The government plans to set up a national single-point digital identity platform by mid-2018 in an effort to centralise identity verification, reduce online fraud and improve the efficiency of financial and e-commerce activities.

Once in place, the platform will help verify the identity of involved parties through an information pool similar to that of ATMs, says Digital Economy and Society (DE) Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj.

Crucial information such as civil registration and credit status will be gathered together for verification purposes.

Enterprises and businesses have applied several tools to verify identity, such as fingerprints and retina scans, but usage and adoption varies and a single platform is needed.

Last week, the DE Ministry and the Finance Ministry held a meeting to update the development plan. The meeting included representatives of the Bank of Thailand, the National Credit Bureau, the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Interior Ministry.

Mr Pichet said not only financial institutions, but also businesses and services providers will be encouraged to use the platform once it is ready.

Initially, the government will form a consortium comprising several agencies to run the platform, with enterprises and businesses being charged a modest fee to use it.

"The digitally-driven ecosystem in the country needs a trusted platform," said Mr Pichet.

He said the platform will indirectly promote local startups and foster greater adoption of e-commerce activities for people nationwide, boosting the country's gross provincial product.

What the government is developing on digital platforms or applications will be complementary to the national broadband network project, which is scheduled to be completed by year-end.

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency earlier reported that the overall e-commerce market in the country was valued at 2.2 trillion baht in 2014, reaching 2.5 trillion last year. About 60% of total e-commerce transactions in the country are made via mobile platforms.

The e-commerce sector is a key driver to enhance the country's productivity, especially under the internet-based economy, which widens opportunities for people to access marketplaces worldwide.

E-commerce is dynamic, changing in line with the development of new technologies, prompting the government to strengthen the reliability of related platforms and support systems.

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