Canada's banks launch SecureKey's Verified.Me digital identity network

Canada's biggest banks are marking the official launch of a new digital identity network called Verified.Me, following years of development with their partner SecureKey Technologies Inc. of Toronto.

The banks see Verified.Me as the beginning of a more secure Canadian identity system for a world where technology is making it easier for criminals to steal personal data and create false identities.

In essence, the Verified.Me smartphone app will connect with the financial institutions and remove many of the steps that are currently required to apply for financial services and government documents.

However, they are taking baby steps and initially offering only a limited selection of products from Sun Life Financial and Equifax through the participating institutions.

CIBC, Desjardins, RBC, Scotiabank and TD say they'll have Verified.Me running immediately while BMO Bank of Montreal and the National Bank of Canada are to join the network in the future.

SecureKey chief executive Greg Wolfond says the longer-term goal is to have Verified.Me used by a wide range of businesses and government agencies such as the Canada Revenue Agency.