When we think of Digital Identity we tend to associate it with people and their online services.
This is of course a key use case but there is also a need to identify organizations.
In today’s digital world, where organizations are increasingly cooperating and transacting remotely and across borders, trust can no longer be established with just a handshake or a paper-based signature.
As such, there is a clear need for a way to digitally verify the legal identities of counterparty organizations and their key individuals.
GLEIF is answering this need with the verifiable Legal Entity Identifier (vLEI).
The vLEI concept is simple: It is the secure digital counterpart of a conventional LEI. In other words, it is a digitally trustworthy version of the 20-digit LEI code which is automatically verified, without the need for human intervention.
The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a 20-character, alpha-numeric code based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
It connects to key reference information that enables clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions. Each LEI contains information about an entity’s ownership structure and thus answers the questions of ‘who is who’ and ‘who owns whom’.
There are a range of possible technical solutions for organizational identity, such as DUNS and BIC codes. Identity expert Timothy Ruff explains them here, and why LEI is best for this particular requirement.
“Each of these identifiers is useful for precisely the purpose it was designed, but the LEI is best suited as a root of trust for Organizational Identity because it is focused exclusively on the core attribute necessary to make Organizational Credentials authoritative: legal authority.”
LEI Issuers: Ubisecure
GLEIF only maintains the standards, they do not issue the identifiers. Instead LEIs are issued by accredited providers, such as Ubisecure, now the number one issuer of ids, under their RapidLEI brand.