The Linux Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium that hosts and promotes the development of open source projects including the Linux kernel and Kubernetes, has launched a collaborative effort to develop open source software to support interoperability for a wide range of digital wallet use cases including digital identity and payments.
The mission of its new Open Wallet Foundation (OWF) is to “develop a secure, multi-purpose open source engine anyone can use to build interoperable wallets.”
The OWF will not develop a wallet itself, offer credentials or issue standards, but it “will focus on building an open source software engine that other organisations and companies can leverage to develop their own digital wallets” and that will “aim to achieve feature parity with the best available wallets,” The Linux Foundation explains.
“The OWF aims to set best practices for digital wallet technology through collaboration on open source code for use as a starting point for anyone who strives to build interoperable, secure and privacy-protecting wallets,” says the new body.
The initiative already has “strong support” from technology and service providers, identity platforms and other companies and organisations in both the private and public sectors, including Accenture, Avast, Authlete, CVS Health, Daon, Esatus, Identity Woman in Business, JCB, Mosip, Open Identity Exchange, Okta, OpenID Foundation, Ping Identity, Polypoly, Procivis, Spherity, Transmute and Trust Over IP, according to the Linux Foundation.
“Universal digital wallet infrastructure will create the ability to carry tokenized identity, money, and objects from place to place in the digital world,” Accenture’s David Treat says.
“Massive business model change is coming and the winning digital business will be the one that earns trust to directly access the real data in our wallets to create much better digital experiences.
“We are excited to be part of the launch and development of an open source basis for digital wallet infrastructure to help ensure consistency, interoperability and portability with privacy, security and inclusiveness at the core by design.”
“Secure and open wallets will allow individuals the world over to store, combine and use their credentials in new ways – allowing them to seamlessly assert their identity, manage payments, access services etc, and empower them with control of their data,” adds Mosip’s Sanjay Jain.
“This brings together many of our efforts in India around identity, payments, credentials, data empowerment, health etc in an open manner and will empower billions of people around the world.”
The OWF’s holding page states that the initiative “is currently working on its governance and structure with the goal of launching later in 2022”.