ATB Ventures, the research unit of Alberta-based firm ATB Financial, has confirmed the existence of a partnership with financial data connectivity service provider Flinks to expand its digital ID solution for customers.

The partnership will involve Oliu, ATB Venture’s digital ID solution, relying on Flinks’ API bank connections network to verify users’ identities seamlessly. The primary use case for the partnership revolves around the financial sector, allowing users to create new bank accounts using existing Canadian bank accounts.

Built using blockchain technology, Oliu will automatically verify user identities in line with the requirements of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

“This collaboration embodies Flinks’ commitment to enabling businesses to leverage financial data to deliver exceptional digital experiences,” said Flinks co-founder Frederick Lavoie. “By partnering with Oliu™ and enabling digital ID verification, we can unlock advanced levels of security and efficiency for our customers while setting new and robust standards in the industry.”

By using old bank accounts to create new ones, the solution has earned praise from industry players for being a time-saving ID verification process. Besides saving time, the blockchain-based solution saves costs while assisting financial institutions to “mitigate fraud.”

Other perks for using Oliu include increased customer loyalty and retention metrics, thanks to the novel frictionless method for onboarding new customers.

The partnership is expected to provide rewards for each entity, with ATB Ventures keen on advancing its standing in Canada’s digital ID space and Flinks building an impressive track record of collaborating with leading industry players.

“The incorporation of Flinks-powered bank account verification into Oliu™ elevates our platform to become one of Canada’s most comprehensive and resilient digital ID verification solutions,” said Azim Esmail, Head of Growth at ATB Ventures.

ATB Ventures has previously participated in the Canadian government’s plan to roll out a national digital ID system in 2022, pushing forward Oliu and its digital wallet solution, Proof.

Digital IDs gather significant steam 

Blockchain-based digital ID solutions are grabbing the spotlight across several jurisdictions, with governments matching the enthusiasm of private entities. Following the uproar trailing Worldcoin, Buenos Aires announced the launch of a “citizen-owned digital identity” system to record marriage, birth, educational, and proof-of-income documents. In April 2023, WEF opened discussions into developing an international framework of blockchain-based digital IDs, which is expected to give full data control to users while satisfying global Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering requirements.

Other jurisdictions testing blockchain-based digital IDs include China, Japan, and the Philippines. In 2023, nChain’s Chief Information Officer Christine Leong attended the Global CIO Institute at Oxford, where she stressed the importance of digital identity and digital assets’ role in enabling Web3.

“Digital assets and digital identities are the key components that enable the future of Web3. The future of activities is purely digital. To trade digitally, you must verify who you say you are. You need privacy and trust, and it’s only [enabled] by having better identities, enabled by emerging technologies,” the nChain CIO said.

Leong says around 160+ countries already have ID systems using digital technologies, and these will be greatly impacted by the changes in Web3.

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