Blockchain-based Firm Twala Unveils ID Verification Platform to Combat Identity Fraud

by Laura C. Jones

Over the past three years, the pace of change in e-commerce fueled a rising awareness of digital dangers, especially in the Philippines. Data analytics firm FICO released a survey in August 2022, which showed that up to 5 million Filipinos have fallen prey to identity fraud, while 6% of the population believe their identities were used to create bank accounts without their permission.

Authorized push payment (APP) fraud

“[Authorized Push Payment (APP)] fraud is becoming a bigger problem in the Philippines as we see a boom in the use of real-time payments. Fraudsters are attracted to these scams as the victims bypass checks by authorizing the payments themselves, with the funds clearing instantly and laundered through a maze of accounts,” C K Leo, FICO’s lead for fraud, security and financial crime in Asia Pacific, stated.

To address this digital jeopardy, security should be a top priority among digital natives, and blockchain security solves this. Twala, a blockchain-based startup company in the Philippines, released to the public its digital self-sovereign identity (SSI) during the Philippine Identification Summit, where hundreds of industry professionals attended to hear what its blockchain security solution has to offer.

Twala’s Security Technology

Twala is the first Filipino-made blockchain network that has built-in protocols for blockchain self-sovereign identities. The firm believes that issuing blockchain-based verified digital identities is a true way to earn trust in the digital world.

According to Twala Co-Founder Alex Quinit, Twala Identity is a product designed to improve processes requiring the identification of individuals. The SSI leverages blockchain technology because of its immutable, transparent and accountable digital ledger system, as well as the inherent privacy and security it affords users.

Quinit also stated that the current process organizations use to prove customer identity is “time-inefficient and costly.” The inefficiency of proving customer identity makes Filipinos vulnerable to identity theft and fraud because Filipinos are “not usually made aware of how their data are being processed and shared.”

“When opening a bank account, we are often asked to provide at least two government-issued IDs. For employment, we are being asked for police and NBI clearance, our academic credentials, and many more. It will take some time for these relying parties to verify our documents as they have limited ways to verify the authenticity of our documents,” Quinit said.

Big businesses usually earn millions of dollars from analyzing and selling people’s data without them knowing that it is a part of the user agreement they readily accept. To address Filipinos being left in the dark about how their data is being used for profit, Twala guarantees that its users will be the sole owners of their personal data, completely controlling how their data is used and shared.

When third parties are involved, the risk of sensitive information being stolen through data breaches and cyber-attacks is higher. But with Twala, the back and forth of data between third-party identifying bodies is eliminated. Personal data is secured with an AI-enabled identity verification process.

In summary

Identity fraud is a formidable enemy, and it is much worse in the Philippines. Local users are huge fans of e-commerce, but have little awareness when it comes to protecting their personal information and identities. With Twala Identity, Filipinos will not only have a much easier way of securing ID verification, but they will also have a more intensified level of security against identity fraud. 

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