Wallet-based credentials in 2023, and looking to 2024

Decentralised identity, and wallet-based interactions in general, are coming! From simple login credentials to re-usable proofed identity data, 2023 saw the drumbeat of digital wallets and their credentials growing louder.

Apple and Google Wallet have both embraced the technology, allowing some driver’s licenses and State IDs to be stored for presentation. This allows for these documents to be presented for checks like those performed by the TSA via your phone or smart watch. When combined with a photo taken of the holder for verification purposes, this creates a frictionless experience for sharing your information quickly and securely.

The same technology can be adopted by enterprises now to issue verifiable credentials through PingOne Verify and PingOne Credentials (collectively, PingOne Neo). The combination of strong identity verification along with user-controlled wallet-based credentials is creating new opportunities for both workforce and consumer experiences. Faster registration through BYOID and automatic form-filling, authentication via login credentials, and authorisation experiences able to request data directly from the user’s device’s have all emerged as leading use-cases for these technologies.

The standards that back this technology continue to rapidly evolve. 2023 saw the emergence of the OIDF’s Digital Credentials Working Group, which has been working on the OID4VC set of standards. These are driving towards a credential-format agnostic set of communication protocols between issuer and wallet, helping promote greater interoperability between all parties involved.

Of the emerging credential formats the desire for selective disclosure – granting the holder the ability to choose which claims from a credential are shared with a requesting party – have seen the growth of the SD-JWT format, which should grow in popularity into 2024. ISO’s mDoc format is another popular credential format expected to continue to gain ground.

The EU’s eIDAS 2 legislation also points to 2024 as a big year for decentralised identity, as the European Union wants every citizen to have access to a digital identity wallet for cross-border identity presentation, as well as authentication to major online service providers. This legislation promotes the use of the standards above – OID4VC, SD-JWT and mDoc – and will act as a major driver for digital credentials.

Re-usable identity verification and authentication are the current most-hyped uses for digital credentials, but in 2024 expect to see how authorisation will also be impacted by this evolution of digital identity. One exciting opportunity to explore includes centralising the location of authorisation policy management, while augmenting the decision-making capabilities of those systems with highly-trusted digital credential signals.