5 Business Use Cases for Self-Sovereign Identity

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Alex Tweeddale
23
December 2019
SSI provides many quick fixes for companies which can be illustrated through a discussion of the use cases. This article will discuss 5 use cases for SSI and why we believe the list will continue to grow over time.
Introduction

Self-Sovereign Identity is as new way of interacting online which provides extensive benefits for individuals from a privacy perspective, as discussed in the article “An Introduction to Self-Sovereign Identity.” From an enterprise perspective however, companies want to know how SSI can be used within their business to increase efficiency, reduce costs and raise revenues.  

SSI provides many quick fixes for companies which can be illustrated through a discussion of the use cases. This article will discuss 5 use cases for SSI and why we believe the list will continue to grow over time.

1. Trusted Data Transfer

Possibly the most in-demand use case for SSI comes from the desire to securely transfer personal/KYC data between companies internally or externally. Data transfer is a huge pain point, especially for the financial services and insurance industry. Because it requires repetition of customer onboarding processes, this leads to data duplication, leaks, errors and general inefficiency. These issues add friction to nearly all interactions and ruin the customer experience, leading to long onboarding processes and high customer drop off rates.

By rerouting data via a customer and allowing verified data to be shared at the consent of the individual, the transfer of data is made more efficient and at a lower cost. Given that this use case is so significant, you can read more about it in our article: “5 Reasons Why Self-Sovereign Identity Will Save Banks Money”.  

2. Verified CV and Qualifications

A commonly cited use case for SSI is the reuse of digital University diplomas. Generally, in order to rely on a physical diploma when applying for a master’s or PhD, the diploma is required to be sealed and sent directly to the relying University. This causes a multitude of delays and complications, costing the Universities significant amounts of money and administrative time.  

Self-Sovereign Identity allows individuals to possess a cryptographically verified digital copy of their diploma on their device, which can easily be used to prove that the individual achieved a certain degree or specific grades. This exact use case can also be mapped onto employment records, moving the world towards trusted and verified CVs.

3. Professional Fraud

Proving that a professional has the relevant qualifications to carry out their role is a very important use case. This is because there have been many cases of fraud regarding individuals holding themselves out to be doctors, lawyers, or more recently in the news: taxi drivers.  

Credentials may be issued across every professional industry, simply for denoting that an individual works for a specific company, has had X years of experience or to reflect a specific qualification or license. This use case is essential for transparency and security moving forwards.

4. Cross-Border Trust  

A digital passport is what many people envisage when the phrase digital identity is mentioned. The ability to board a plane, book a hotel and rent a car with a single verified identity is incredibly valuable for all stakeholders.  

Self-Sovereign Identity can facilitate this use case by providing individuals with a verified, reusable passport credential. Currently, the UK government is running a trial for passport verification and, seemingly, a passport credential is the next logical development.  

5. Ticketing  

The ticketing industry is flooded with bot-buyers, ticket touts and scammers. SSI can mitigate these issues by pairing a ticket ‘credential’ with a specific digital identity. Instead of having a barcode for a ticket, the ticket would be a unique credential which sits on the user’s device, connected to a digital identity. This could be used to speed up event entry, lower security costs and better stabilise ticket prices.  

Conclusion

Self-Sovereign Identity represents a paradigm shift in the way in which data is stored and controlled. As such, it can increase efficiency in nearly every industry which manages customer data.

This is a curse and a blessing for the SSI industry – it causes problems with gaining traction due to the overwhelming number of potential use cases. Companies often want fixes to smaller, specific problems and fail to see the wider value that a transition to SSI might have. While SSI can be a quick fix for one issue, it provides many greater and long-term benefits than companies may initially perceive.  

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