Digital identity should be the starting point of a digital journey. It’s not.

digital identity
Image credit | TeroVesalainen/

Digital identity is still too cumbersome compared to other advances in technology. You would have thought that, with China launching ‘6G’ test satellites, Richard Branson testing Hyperloop on real people and Elon Musk seemingly getting somewhere with his Neuralink concept, identity would be a done deal.

Recently Rakuten released a story about digital identity, a digital Know Your Customer (KYC) service that allows customers to take out a contract with the company, using this new service.

Excitement ensued.

Rakuten already has a reputation for getting on with things and making services fast and easy. The company impressed at Mobile World Congress (the last real one) with their attitude and announcements of 5G the easy way.

The announcement that they were doing things with KYC and identity triggered the reaction ‘at last’ and ‘Rakuten will sort this.’

Sadly, though, the whole thing looks a bit stodgy. In fact, it is a seven stage process to set yourself up in the system, so that you can take out a contract.

We have said before that digital identity is at the heart of digital transformation. We have also said that your mobile device should be the key to your digital world. As such, it is a little disappointing that the NYC service from Rakuten does not go as far as it might have.

If the service was one such that, once you had signed up once, you could go anywhere, do or buy anything online, knowing that your identity (and everything you need was attached to it) was safe in the hands of your mobile service provider, or a combination of service provider and device manufacturer, then it would have been impressive and an excellent guide to what we need to do next.

Hopefully, this digital identity service will be one of many and the process will become simpler over time and more wide-ranging. If the digital world keeps exploding at the breakneck speed it seems to be, then your digital identity should be the least of our worries and you should know that you are completely safe online.

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