Big banks work together to get their own ID verification service

The news: Seven major US banks are backing a new identity verification service, Authentify, which is designed to make it easier for consumers to give their information to businesses.

  • The banks are working on the service through Zelle parent Early Warning Services, which they own.
  • JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One, U.S. Bank, PNC, and Truist make up the group.
  • DocuSign is the service’s first participating company.

How it works: Consumers who use the apps or websites of participating businesses will get the option of being redirected to their own banks’ mobile or online channels.

  • From there, they can share their banking data to be passed along to the businesses.
  • Authentify does not receive the underlying data.

Authentify offers companies and consumers several benefits, per Early Warning CEO Al Ko.

  • Reduced abandonment rates.
  • Lower fraud rates.
  • Greater security in data sharing
  • Faster verification.
  • Lower operating costs.
  • Fewer consumer-originated errors during data sharing.

Why this could succeed:

  • The familiarity of working with the consumer’s own bank gives the service a built-in advantage with gaining trust.
  • Making the sharing process faster and more user-friendly will encourage people to continue their sign-up processes for businesses’ products and services. Lower abandonment, in turn, could prompt even more companies to join Authentify.

The verification service also helps big incumbents compete with open banking players like Plaid.

  • It helps counter the rise of fintechs, which threatens to erode banks’ customer relationships, as we discuss in our report, The Bank in 2025.
  • Authentify lets incumbents give consumers control over their financial data. Providing consent capabilities through banks makes the process transparent, which helps build trust in the banking relationship.