Mastercard has marked the first tests of a new digital service that has the potential to verify a person's identity immediately, safely and securely in both the digital and the physical world.The initial in-market pilot will take place in Australia through two separate efforts with Australia Post and Deakin University."Our increasingly digital life – the way we transact and interact – has challenged our traditional notions of identity, trust and privacy. We need a new model," said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence for Mastercard. "We believe that this starts with a commitment to the responsible handling of personal information, giving consumers control over which data is used and how it is used to verify their identity."The pilot program will test a new way for people to prove their identity without having to carry multiple documents. Instead, the model allows the data to sit with its rightful owner – the user. It will activate a distributed model that blends information stored on an individual's mobile device and verified by additional reference points, such as an individual's bank or participating government agencies . It eliminates the need for a centralized identity database.Mastercard's consumer-centric approach was outlined in a Principles of Digital Identity vision paper earlier this year and prioritizes privacy-by-design.The initial phase of the pilot with Deakin University featured student volunteers testing an identity verification process for student registration and digital exams at the Burwood and Geelong campuses in Victoria."We're delighted to partner with Mastercard in this first trial to test concepts that can one day deliver intelligent, future-focused solutions ready to respond to a digital world's needs," said William Confalonieri, chief digital officer for Deakin University. "The pilot aligns with our institution's digital-first strategy to improve the user experience and we look forward to the concept moving into other trial environments."To support its identity efforts, Mastercard has entered into a separate partnership with Australia Post to integrate the agency's existing Digital iD solution and expand the ability for Australians to identify themselves easily when accessing services."Australia Post is delighted to participate in this pilot, which will help raise awareness about digital identity in Australia and provide our Digital iD users access to a larger variety of uses," said Regis Bauchiere, general manager, identity products and services for Australia Post. "Complementing our participation in the Trusted Digital Identity Framework, it also positions Digital iD as the only identity provider offering our communities access to both government and private sector services."Following these initial efforts, additional partnerships and pilots will be introduced across a number of markets throughout 2020.