ConsenSys-backed identity management protocol uPort has entered a partnership with Onfido and PwC to develop blockchain-based identity management in the United Kingdom's financial sector.

In a Sept. 23 announcement, the Ethereum-based digital identity platform uPort said the three firms are exploring how portable identity verification can improve the sign-up process for customers and reduce compliance costs for financial companies. PwC executive Mike Kennelly added:

“It opens up access to financial services, helps reduce fraud and is instrumental in driving more competition into the U.K. banking ecosystem. ​PwC analysis​​ suggests technological step changes in the banking sector could bring a boost of more than £34.6bn to the UK’s economy by 2030.​”

Since the European Union’s Payment Services Directive 2 came into effect, there has been an increased demand for secure personal data-sharing solutions between financial institutions. Alice Nawfal, the strategy and operations lead at ​uPort​, added:

“Our view is that consumers will eventually be able to build dynamic, robust financial identities based on data from all financial institutions they have accounts at, and be able to port their identities across service providers.”

Blockchain identity systems can be the solution

Cointelegraph previously reported that the use of blockchain in data puts it back in the hands of those who create it. By storing personal data on encrypted, decentralized networks, users are able to grant limited access to third parties using keys in processes that are similar to sending cryptocurrency. 

Alastair Johnson, the CEO of e-commerce payments and ID platform Nuggets, told Cointelegraph that by returning data control to users, blockchain ID systems can both empower individuals and cut administrative costs: 

“A blockchain ID system, conversely, adopts a user-centric approach, eliminating central points of failure by empowering individuals with self-sovereign possession over their own data. A blockchain ID system would not require government bodies to store or share personal information in order for individuals to access services.”