HKMA Urges Financial Institutions to Leverage New Digital Identity Platform iAM Smart

HKMA Urges Financial Institutions to Leverage New Digital Identity Platform iAM Smart

by January 25, 2021

Hong Kong’s Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) has launched iAM Smart which provides all Hong Kong residents with a single digital identity and authentication to conduct government and commercial transactions online.

All Hong Kong residents can apply for iAM Smart accounts, formerly known as eID, free of charge on a voluntary basis.

iAM Smart functions

iAM Smart functions

With an iAM Smart account, users can make use of the biometrics in their personal mobile devices to authenticate their identities, which have been verified against their HKID cards during iAM Smart registration, and log in to online services.

As such, users will have access to various online services without the need to manage different usernames and passwords or carry multiple security tokens.

In addition to logging in to online accounts of the government, public and private organisations, iAM Smart supports digital signing with legal backing under the Electronic Transactions Ordinance for statutory documents and procedures, as well as conducting important commercial transactions.

iAM Smart users can choose to store commonly used personal data in their own “e-ME” profile so that they can save time and effort by not having to fill in the same data when making different online applications. Data provided by the users will be encrypted and stored in government data center facilities for data security and personal privacy reasons.

iAM Smart users may also give consent to provide such data to other entities for different online services.

Applications of iAM Smart

With the launch of iAM Smart platform, over 20 commonly used online government services will be accessible through the platform. It is expected that iAM Smart users will be able to access over 100 online government services through the platform by mid-2021.

To promote the use of iAM Smart in the financial sector, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has been working with the OGCIO to explore how iAM Smart can assist financial institutions including authorised institutions (AI) and stored value facility (SVF) licensees in providing online financial services.

GCIO said that it will arrange for rolling out iAM Smart to these companies subject to the progress of the adoption by government online services, and the readiness of the companies in the financial sector to adopt the platform.

Adoption of iAM Smart

HKMA has called out to AIs and SVF licensees to consider adopting iAM Smart in their businesses as it could promote the development of the fintech ecosystem in Hong Kong.

iAM Smart may be used to facilitate remote on-boarding of customers. AIs may also make use of the HKMA Fintech Supervisory Sandbox (FSS) to test a variety of applications leveraging on the digital identity platform.

HKMA has also invited AIs to discuss potential use cases for iAM Smart through its HKMA Fintech Supervisory Sandbox and Chatroom. iAM Smart

iAM Smart Sandbox Programmes

To enable private organisations to conduct simulated tests on API functions, the OGCIO in collaboration with the Cyberport introduced the first phase of Pilot Sandbox Programme for iAM Smart in March 2020.

The second phase of the Pilot Sandbox Programme was launched in September 2020, for financial institutions intending to adopt iAM Smart to test their applications under an integration testing environment similar to the production setting.

AIs and SVF licensees interested in participating in the iAM Smart Pilot Sandbox Programme will have to submit an application to the Cyberport.


Featured image credit: iAM Smart