"Financial institutions including banks have traditionally performed the role of custodians of data as they collect and verify identities when customers transact with them," says Gorriz, who has a background as a physicist and a PhD in engineering.
"They also have established cross-border operations.With banks already acting as stores of customer data, financial institutions are well-positioned to support the creation of [digital identity] systems. Additionally, banks are naturally incentivised to collect accurate data because the viability of their business depends on it."
Individuals will need to maintain ownership of their personal data, but this will become complex as it's shared across numerous bodies, such banks, shops, housing organisations and government bodies
"Achieving a universal digital identity would have many advantages but making it work would require cooperation among financial institutions, governments, technology companies and many other parties," says Gorriz.
"The benefits in terms of cost, time and user satisfaction are so great that we are optimistic that a comprehensive and holistic solution may not be too far in the future."