The Linux Foundation Europe’s initiative to build an open source engine that will support the development of interoperable digital wallets across use cases including digital identity, credential authentication and payments has gone live with the backing of 37 private, nonprofit, academic and government entities.
The Open Wallet Foundation (OWF) will not publish a wallet itself, nor offer credentials or create new standards, it says. Instead, its open source software engine “aims to become the core that other organizations and companies leverage to develop their own digital wallets.
“The wallets will seek feature parity with the best available wallets and interoperability with major cross-border projects such as the EU’s Digital Identity Wallet,” it adds.
Wallets built using the open source engine will be usable on any device or operating system across multiple apps and services and with any currency and will avoid “a host of problems, including vendor lock-in, no interoperability, questionable security and limited capabilities”, OWF says.
“Wallets are critical infrastructure for payments, for identity, and for secure access. Open source — driven by collaboration among for-profits large and small, non-profits, and government leaders — is a great role model for infrastructure that is vital for digital societies and benefits everyone,” OWF founder Daniel Goldscheider explains.
“With open source at the core of wallets, like it is at the core of web browsers, anyone can build a digital wallet that works with others and gives consumers the freedom to maintain their identity and verifiable credentials and share relevant data when, where, and with whom they choose.”
At launch, OWF members include Accenture, Gen, Futurewei, Visa, American Express, Deutsche Telekom/T-Systems, Esatus, Fynbos, Hopae, IAMX, IDnow, IndyKite, Intesi Group, Ping Identity, SmartMedia Technologies, Spruce and Swisscom.
In addition 20 leading non-profits, academic and government entities have joined the foundation, including Customer Commons, Decentralized Identity Foundation, Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada, Digital Dollar Project, Digital Identity New Zealand, Digital Identity and Data Sovereignty Association, DizmeID Foundation, Hyperledger Foundation, Information Technologies and Telematics Institute at the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Johannes Kepler University Linz, ID2020, IDunion, Mifos Initiative, MIT Connection Science, Modular Open Source Identity Platform, OpenID Foundation, Open Identity Exchange, Secure Identity Alliance, Universitat Rovira i Virgili and Trust Over IP Foundation.
The Linux Foundation announced in September 2022 that it was launching the OWF collaborative initiative to develop an open source digital wallet software engine.
OpenWallet Foundation announces 37 backers for open source digital wallet project was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.