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Private Sector Economic Impacts from Identification Systems

– World Bank

This report authored by Kaelyn Lowmaster provides a seminal assessment of the economic potential of government-backed identity systems for private sector companies

Lowmaster provides a practical review of existing evidence about the cross-section of government-issued identity systems and private sector opportunities. She also offers an analytical framework to consider cost savings and revenue generation.

The paper outlines key system features, including: digitization, unique IDs, integration and interoperability, digital queriability for verification and authentication. It posits these features can offer added value for private sector companies in the public identity space across three channels: cost savings, revenues and economic climate. In this way, the paper provides a holistic matrix of interconnected and interdependent ways in which the private sector can benefit from government-backed identity systems.

The paper is a useful resource for governments, donors, private sector leaders, and industry groups, posing difficult questions and exciting opportunities to explore to bring these groups together and encourage further research on the topic.

National-level identification systems are capable of creating positive financial impacts for private companies, both through direct cost savings and revenue generation channels, as well as through more indirect benefits to a country’s overall economic climate

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