Electronic payments platform Eftpos has become the first private provider in Australia to be approved as a digital identity exchange under a new framework set to bolster data security.
The approval of the payments provider under the federal government's Trusted Digital Identity Framework as a "broker" to ensure data is held securely within Australia growing digital economy.
Eftpos' connectID service is set to pave a way for banks and other financial payment platforms to establish identity holding as a new service in Australia's digital economy.
Employment Minister Stuart Robert said the increasing rate of Australians doing business and spending online is prompting a growing need for greater security around online personal information.
"Australians and Australian businesses must have trust and confidence that the system and their personal information is safe and secure," Mr Robert said.
"A safe, thriving digital economy is not possible without digital identity - that is, a safe, secure and convenient way for Australians to prove their identity online."
Owned by the four major banks and the two major supermarkets, Eftpos chief executive Stephen Benton said the accreditation would support the company's relationship with government in ensuring Australia's digital economy and payments environment is robust and secure.
"With connectID, Eftpos drew on its experience operating the national Eftpos network in the development of an exchange to make it easier for Australians to share, store and receive trusted personal identity information online, giving them more confidence and control," Mr Benton said.
"It is a significant and tangible milestone in the rollout of Australia's digital identity ecosystem and comes after months of rigorous assurance evaluations and privacy and security testing."
Global payments platform Mastercard is already seeking approval under the TDIF.
Mr Robert said Eftpos needed to demonstrate connectID was a trustworthy, safe and secure system before it was accredited.
These requirements under the TDIF included privacy protections, risk management and security and fraud controls.
Digital identity providers such as Australia Post will have access hundreds of thousands of businesses through the connectID service.
'Digital identity systems, like Eftpos' connectID, provide opportunities for businesses, big and small, to engage with Australians and support the growth of our economy,' Mr Robert said.
Eftpos is not seeking to operate as part of the Australian Government Digital Identity System.
The federal government is throwing $800 million towards identity program to ensure the Australian economy is digitally ready by the end of the decade.
"The creation of an Australian digital identity ecosystem that provides utility to both the public and private sectors is a foundation stone in a modern digital economy because it reduces friction, delays and cost while automating and boosting safety and compliance for individuals, businesses and government services," eftpos managing director, Andrew Black said.
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