An In-Depth Discussion of Trusted Online Identities

 In Fraud

Empowering consumers to have trust and confidence in online interactions is an emerging challenge. They want the convenience this channel offers and an easy, secure manner to prove their real identity. How can this be accomplished? James Varga, CEO, miiCard, shares his expertise in the realm of secure online identities and what miiCard is doing in the space. He provides an interesting perspective on a highly relevant topic for today’s increasing digital world.

1. What is a trusted online identity?

A trusted online identity essentially lets you know the person you believe you are interacting with online is actually who they say they are. Trust is a difficult thing to calibrate and there are a lot of things we do online where we don’t have a high level of trust. In the physical world, you would ask for a driver’s license or passport to verify a person is who they claim to be. A trusted online identity allows you to accomplish the same thing in a purely digital environment.

2.  How do you verify an online identity without a driver’s license or other form of ID?

A trusted online identity provides the same level (or possibly higher) of trust that a driver’s license does. With a driver’s license you really need training to verify an ID is not fake. There are services that attempt to verify ID cards, but there are still false positives. An online identity, verified through secure access to your online bank account using information only known to you, provides one of the strongest forms of identification and is proven to reduce fraud by at least 80 percent.

3. How does a consumer set up their online identity?

Currently miiCard is the only provider of online identities. To set up their online identity consumers simply go to our website and complete our sign up form. Once there, they need to enter basic information (such as name and email), and then connect to their bank account. This happens in a fraction of the time it would take for a consumer to scan or send in documents for verification. We use this process because your bank account login information is known only to you, and only your bank can confirm this.

4. When does using an online identity make sense and why would consumers use it?

It makes the most sense for consumers when they are trying to make a high value transaction online, such as an auto loan or mortgage. Most of these transactions require you to submit some sort of identity verification which involves either sending in documents or going into a branch with ID. Today about 70 percent of consumers drop out at this stage of the application process because of the inconvenience. miiCard allows consumers to avoid this and complete the full identity verification process all online, in just minutes.

5. Don’t device reputation services verify identity?

Device reputation and authentication services are really good at verifying you have access to a device like a cell phone or PC, providing location data to confirm where you are and flagging fraud risk. We use strong authentication services to help users protect their accounts and ensure the true assertion of the identity when it is shared with an online service.

6.  How can you confirm an identity is not fraudulent?

We start off by verifying a person’s identity through their online bank account using information known only to them—this proves you are who you say you are. We further strengthen online identities by confirming personal information, such as date of birth, address, SSN number and credit profile against the bank-verified identity. We even allow consumers to connect to their social and online trading accounts to prove ownership of these.

It’s the combination of bank-verified identities, bureau data, strong authentication and multiple layers of security that guard against fraudulent use.

7. What is the long-term goal for online identities?

We see the single, trusted digital passport as having the biggest long-term value for both the digital economy and the consumer. It’s all about giving consumers complete control of their identities and personal information online and enabling them to do more with that. For business it’s about removing the fraud, increasing the value of services offered online, and minimizing the dropout rate through cumbersome and costly processes. The ultimate goal is to create a level of trust on the internet on a global scale that simply doesn’t exist today.

For more information on miiCard and online identities please visit

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