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Self Sovereign Identity/Decentralised Identity and Financial Services Webinar — A Synopsis

A synposis of our first webinar with Varsha Jagdale and Joseph Thompson. They talked about the impact of SSI on financial and social sectors.

September 2nd, 2021 was a big day for all of us in the Global Developer Ecosystem (GDE) team of Affinidi as we geared to host our first webinar on Self Sovereign Identity/Decentralised Identity and Financial Services with Varsha Jagdale (General Manager of Financial Services at Affinidi) and Joseph Thompson (CEO of AID:Tech) as the speakers.

Sandeep, our Community Manager at Affinidi, was the host, and he started by giving a brief introduction on Self-Sovereign Identity and Affinidi’s work in this space.

This was followed by Varsha Jagdale who spoke about what Affinidi is doing in the financial services industry.

Varsha Jagdale — Impact of SSI on Financial Services

Varsha used real-life scenarios to describe the huge changes that the financial industry has gone through in the last few years and also the challenges that come with these changes.

For example, she talked about the pushcart owners in Indonesia who represent one of the lowest socioeconomic segments of the society.

Street Food vendors — Indonesia

These vendors borrow money in the morning to buy the supplies, make food, and sell it to customers through their pushcarts. At the end of the day, they return the money borrowed with interest, Typically, the interest rate is around 10 to 15% for this microloan, thereby leaving them with very little money in their pockets.

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Another scenario that Varsha talked about is tech company deals that typically take around 12 to 18 months to complete.

Closing a Business Deal — 12 to 18 months

This long cycle is mostly due to the long time that banks take to go through their processes before approving/financing the deal.

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Another player in the financial spectrum is the SMEs that are involved in the export and import of goods. Most times, these companies are too small to get loans from banks and don’t have the documents and processes required for the Know-Your-Business (KYB) process of banks.

She explained that a common theme across all these scenarios is a lack of trust, where one entity doesn’t know or understand who the other entity claims to be. This is where Affinidi comes in, as it uses verifiable credentials to empower businesses to operate in a trusted environment.

Varsha went on to talk about Goodworker, one of the sister companies of Affinidi, and how it empowers blue-collar workers to find the next job, gain financial security, get access to insurance and loans, and more.

Similarly, she explained how Affinidi is trying to empower SMEs by creating a sense of trust about their business and operations, thereby enabling them to address their challenges and become more productive and profitable.

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Finally, she talked about the Affinidi ecosystem and the benefits it offers for both issuers and verifiers.

##Joseph Thompson — Impact of SSI in the Social Sector Taking on from where Varsha left, Joseph Thompson, the CEO, and Co-Founder of AID:Tech, talked about how digital identities have empowered some of the poorest and marginalized sections of the society such as displaced Filipinos and Save the Children NGO by giving them financial aid directly through their digital identities. He opined that the transparency of this process is what really makes it unique and effective.

With this introduction, he jumped on to two use-cases. Both these are built on Affinidi’s verifiable credentials because it is simple to understand and use, thereby saving time and helps to get the product to the market quicker. Click here to learn more about AID:Tech and Affinidi’s partnership.

Joseph’s first use case was the Save the Children project that required the creation of a verified decentralized Digital Identity that was owned and controlled by the user and could be used across multiple services such as health, education, welfare, etc. These IDs also “acted as gateways for accessing financial services.”

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This was a pilot project that got a big response, so AID:Tech is building on it based on feedback about user experience.

Next, Joseph talked about a project with the Women’s World Banking that involved the distribution of microinsurance to women in Uganda and Nigeria. This is likely to extend to women in the Philippines next year. This project will essentially allow women to get access to healthcare through their digital identities built on verifiable credentials.

He concluded by saying that his company is building these identities using Affinidi’s verifiable credentials tech stack.

Joseph’s presentation was followed by an enthusiastic Q&A session where participants sent their questions through Affinidi’s Discord channel and Zoom. While the business-level questions were answered by the guest speakers, the technical questions were handled by Affinidi’s engineers.

Some of the interesting questions were:

  • Which revenue streams are ‘encouraged’ for the app/ solution developers? I mean, Is Affinidi’s solution designed to generate revenues for the issuer/ holder or the verifier? Thanks.
  • Thanks for the informative webinar. How do individuals manage their data across the use cases shared?
  • Why would large organisations (e.g. banks) be incentivised to come on board as issuers? Has this got to be regulations driven?

Join our Discord channel to view the answers and for more questions.

Thus, Affinidi’s first webinar came to an end, and it created an indelible learning experience in the minds of all participants.

We thank everyone who joined us on this milestone and we look forward to having you in our subsequent webinars as well.

In the meantime, join our mailing list and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also send us your feedback and request for specific webinar topics through our Discord channel.

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