Last week I spoke to James Varga from miiCard. The miiCard proposition is very simple - it allows you to prove who you are when transacting online. How many times have you opened an account online and not only been asked to fill in lots of details but also to send in copies of bills or cancelled cheques, to 'prove' who you are? This process doesn't necessarily prove anything and is a terrible customer experience. miiCard changes all that by allowing you to use a pre-authenticated identity when applying for or using services online. Imagine you want to apply online for a mortgage; using your miiCard at the start of the application proves you are who you say you are and saves rekeying lots of information. Both parties gain from a simpler, more secure, application process. Or on a dating site, wouldn't you rather date someone who has proved who they are? Or buy on auction sites from people you know you can trust?
How does miiCard work? When you set up your account you enter your online banking credentials which miiCard uses to identify you as the owner of the bank account. That bank account will have been opened using identity documents and now that identity is used to create your miiCard. Your personal data is secure at all times; miiCard never actually sees it and it is not stored on any system. miiCard uses Yodlee, who have many years experience managing financial transactions, to handle the bank authentication process.
Once miiCard goes live on service provider websites, consumers will start to see the value in having a miiCard. miiCard brand awareness will also increase as consumers start to see it on more and more websites. In the early days I can see accepting miiCard being a competitive differentiator; availability of a miiCard authenticated application process would certainly make me more likely to use a particular service provider.
This video gives a nice summary of the miiCard proposition.
Incidentally, miiCard stands for My Internet Identity Card. You can follow miiCard on Twitter at @miicard.
You can sign up for miiCard here.