The Future of Digital Identification: An Interview with Denis Petrov

1. What are your thoughts on Apple launching driver’s licenses and state IDs on the Wallet app?

This is a further advancement of the digitization of our society, where tokenization replaces paper/ plastic documents of the past. We’re based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Louisiana was actually one of the first states to allow for mobile driver’s licenses. So we’ve had our driver’s licenses, and now our COVID-19 vaccination cards on our phones for several years. It is unbelievably convenient and I had no doubt as soon as it launched that other states and entities would be adopting it soon. 

This is just like digital payments replacing cash. Our phones have become an extension of ourselves so it makes sense that we would start migrating everything important onto our phones. However, identity documentation is always going to move slower than payments because there is government regulation involved. 

I think where it becomes tricky is trying to reach some sort of standard, since every state (and country and region) is different. But we will have a gradual evolution and wider adoption over the next ten years. 

2. How do you see this changing ID verification in the future?

Obviously it will make things faster. No more sending licenses by mail. All licenses are linked to the database, so if you have an expired license it would be indicated right on your device. It will definitely make IDs much harder to fake.

3. How can contribute to Apple creating this feature? pioneered ID scanning on iOS devices in 2009, by releasing a first-ever ID scanning app.  We have 13 years of experience to share and pass along. We also have, and I don’t just say this because it’s my company, the best authentication library out there. There are so many “tells” for IDs; every single state has hundreds of things that might get messed up when you have a fraudulently created ID. Over 13 years we have identified the vast majority and our software checks for them. 

So we love contributing to big projects around ID authentication because it allows us to share the knowledge we’ve gained over all our years in business. Apple obviously has great developers and resources, but some things you have to learn from experience. 

4. Do you see this benefiting Why or why not?

Certainly benefiting, as we will continue to further improve technologies around Digital identities, KYC, and ID validation.