eftpos pilot to make online payments easier for people with disability

Posted 3 years ago by Emily Erickson
People living with a disability encounter significant challenges in identifying themselves online. [Source: iStock]
People living with a disability encounter significant challenges in identifying themselves online. [Source: iStock]

Using eftpos to pay for shopping and services is a no-brainer for many but poses challenges for people living with disability. A new pilot will see eftpos trial its new digital identity solution, connectID, in collaboration with Scope Global in hopes to strengthen and simplify digital identification processes for people living with a disability.

As services and interactions move increasingly online in a post COVID-19 world, the one in five Australians with a disability are encountering significant challenges in identifying themselves in a digital environment.

eftpos began its new digital identity solution, connectID, in July this year, to help Australian consumers protect their identities and avoid fraud while connecting with merchants and government services. 

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of eftpos, Stephen Benton says the joint initiative is designed to give people with a disability the power to connect and transact with businesses and Government service providers with increased independence and control. 

Mr Benton says the pilot will focus on people who are blind and/or vision impaired, and people with cerebral palsy or who use assistive devices to access digital platforms. 

The focus of the outreach process is to consult and gather feedback on potential technological approaches to facilitate capability-appropriate access to the digital environment, along with the associated process supports.

“This pilot seeks to facilitate identity verification methods to help reduce the instances of fraud and identity theft, and improve ‘digital trust’ between customers and vendors,” Mr Benton says.

eftpos is working with unique disability consulting service Maven, which is part of the South Australian Government-owned company Scope Global. Maven consults to Governments, businesses and not-for-profit organisations, providing insights about website and digital content accessibility, tailored disability awareness training and physical premise accessibility reviews.

Zel Iscel, Scope Global Maven Disability Inclusion Advisor, who is legally blind, says she faces many frustrations when trying to identify herself online, and would welcome the independence and privacy provided by simplified digital identification processes for people living with disability.

“If the form fields are not coded or labelled properly, I’m unable to input basic details such as my name. Visual captchas are impossible for me, so I have to wait for someone sighted.” 

“I just want to get it done when I want to – and it’s just super annoying when that doesn’t happen!” 

Ms Iscel says she commends eftpos for its work in ensuring its digital identity solution is accessible to as many people as possible and believed people living with disability would utilise it.

“I would absolutely use the technology as it means I can complete what I need to online and wouldn’t have to rely on anyone. Also, if the technology allows for various ways to verify and manage identification, I believe people with disability would use it,” she says. 

“We cherish our right for independence, choice and control, and we appreciate opportunities that allow us to exercise these rights.”

Scope Global Chairman David Travers says the pilot will assess both market need and “commercial opportunities”.

“People living with a disability – some 19 percent of the Australian population – encounter significant challenges in identifying themselves in an increasingly online world,” Mr Travers says. 

“The pilot will allow a joint assessment of the market need and commercial opportunity for identity service providers linked to the eftpos ecosystem while designing improved identity verification methods for people with a disability.” 

Rob Allen, eftpos’ Entrepreneur in Residence and spearhead of the eftpos initiative, says connectID could be used to verify a consumer’s identity in a range of ways such as proof of age, address details, or bank account information. 

“It could also be used to identify individuals for eCommerce transactions, or to ensure Government payments are made to the right person during crisis situations like a bushfire – when time is of the essence,” he adds. 

“The connectID solution is designed to work within the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) and the Australian payment industry’s TrustID framework, as well as emerging international standards, potentially opening much more of the online world to Australians with a disability.”

eftpos’ connectID will act as a ‘broker’ between identity providers, such as Australia Post, and merchants or Government departments that need to verify who they are dealing with, especially for interactions requiring payment. 

While connectID securely facilitates the identity verification or data exchange, it does not store the identity data. Identity service providers store consumer identities and take responsibility for providing this secure information only under the consent of the identity owner.

For more information, visit eftpos’ website.