Interac has entered into an agreement with Toronto-based authentication company SecureKey to acquire exclusive rights to its digital ID solutions in Canada. The financial terms of this deal have not been disclosed.
The global payments provider will only acquire SecureKey’s Canadian business contracts and the licence for its intellectual property in the country; SecureKey will continue to operate its international business independently.
“It will allow so many more Canadians to feel that they can trust digital ID services, because they already trust Interac.”
Founded in 2007, SecureKey provides authentication and security systems to connect people with commercial digital services such as online banking. The company also has offices in Boston and San Francisco.
Interac said that it will “drive the evolution of digital services in Canada” using SecureKey’s technology and products. Some of these services include Verified.Me, a digital ID verification network built by SecureKey where users can access over 280 government services with their unique digital credentials.
In February 2018, ATB Financial joined as one of the latest trusted sign-in partners in SecureKey’s Concierge service. Some of the other sign-in partners include BMO, CIBC, Choice Rewards MasterCard, Desjardins, National Bank, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, Tangerine, TD, UNI Financial cooperation, L’Alliance des Caisses populaires de l’Ontario, and Affinity Credit Union.
Aran Hamilton, a co-chair for IdentityNorth, said that Interac’s acquisition of SecureKey’s Canadian assets is significant in the digital identity space as it could satisfy the growing demand for more cybersecurity implementations in the country.
“[During the pandemic], we’ve been exposed to so many more types of transactions from the convenience of our homes,” said Hamilton. “And that demand is not going away, we want all those transactions to be just as secure as if we did them in person.”
Further, Hamilton said that the digital space needed a “mark” that meant trusted digital identity can be just as reliable in the same way that Interac’s e-transfer platform is highly regarded and widely used in Canada. The service is currently used by millions of Canadians daily and connects to almost 300 financial institutions in the country.
“Interac has been evolving its business to be able to bring [digital ID] services to Canadians, and we need them,” he said. “It will allow so many more Canadians to feel that they can trust digital ID services, because they already trust Interac.”
In March, Payments Canada selected Interac as its second solution provider for Canada’s upcoming real-time payments system which is expected to launch in 2022. Called the Real-Time Rails, this system was designed to modernize the country’s core payments structure and will be regulated by the Bank of Canada
SecureKey is not the first digital services provider that Interac has acquired. In November 2019, Interac acquired 2Keys, an Ottawa-based startup, to build on its previous work in the digital identification industry.