An Update on the Collaboration of Technology Tools and Legal Rules

Published February 10, 2021

The US Federal Reserve is participating in a Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) Cross-border Payments Task Force to identify ways to promote cross-border payments that are faster, less expensive and more transparent and inclusive.

With the CPMI's initiative to improve cross-border payments (and their upcoming conference, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and the OpenID Foundation (OIDF) have submitted input on the important nexus of #identity and #payments. The submission details IIF's collaboration in the Open Digital Trust Initiative, how this fits with the G20 Payments Roadmap, and some important considerations in #AML. The submission is available at, referencing draft Principles for Digital Trust Networks, which all sought feedback. We will further build on this in our upcoming Open Digital Trust Initiative interim report.

The joint Institute of International Finance - OpenID Foundation's Open Digital Trust Initiative has published Draft Principles for Digital Trust Networks, identifying the high level ‘rules of the road’ that digital trust networks should adopt in order to incentivize a high level of digital trust, user centricity and low cost.

The International Institute of Finance Open Digital Trust Initiative has four policy Work Groups.  The Initiative's two technical Work Groups, the OIDF's eKYC & Identity Assurance and the Financial-Grade APIs are responsive to the steep rise in the use of fintech apps and services.  In that context, the new eKYC & Identity Assurance Standard responds to the need for trusted online identity verification alternatives to today's problematic in-person proofing requirements. The Financial-Grade APIs standard helps secure the portability and privacy of personal data held by banks and used by fintech innovators in new online applications.

As OIDF members know well, technical standards are critical components of an ecosystem’s infrastructure. Identity standards like OpenID Connect are key to validating the commercial viability, facilitating multi-vendor interoperability, securing data portability and privacy protections for customers. Promoting the adoption of these technical standards in concert with the IIF’s focus on regulatory requirements expedites the legal compliance needed for the implementation of innovative technologies. It’s an alternative to wasting resources navigating between competing frameworks. It is a market based approach with open technical standards being adopted on criteria such as effectiveness, opportunity cost and enabling compliance with regulatory requirements.

The Report points out to its unique contribution to the global identity ecosystem at a critical time. Put simply, the IIF has advanced a diverse global community's understanding of both technology “tools” and the governance “rules.” The IIF’s Initiative has triggered a virtuous circle coupling the development of open technical standards with policy development in a time of economic, technical and social disruption. The result is a positive feedback loop between the policy and technical working group that initiated a virtuous circle that can inform a global collaboration strategy for years to come.

While the IIF and the OpenID Foundation do not themselves propose to “police” the Principles, or award or allocate trust marks to particular Digital Trust Networks, we encourage identity attribute verifiers, trust framework operators and others to consider offering these services. In concert with the OpenID Foundation’s technical workshops and pilots, the Open Digital Trust Initiative may also road-test the draft Principles in the first half of 2021, through one or more proof of concept projects.

Thanks to Brad Carr and Laurence White for leading our submission and the many contributions from Rod Boothby, Eugenio (Gene) DiMira, Wendy Callaghan, Angus McFadyen, David R. Hardoon, Gena Boutin, Stéphane Mouy, Nick Mothershaw, Scott David, Conan French, Mina Loldj & Matt Ekberg, and many more.


Don Thibeau
Executive Director