Enterprise Digital Wallets

State of Digital Wallets – Part 7/16

 

This post, “Enterprise Digital Wallets,” is an excerpt from a report entitled The Current and Future State of Digital Wallets, which is being shared here as a 16-part series. Download a copy of the report. Read a complete summary.

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Scale

Enterprise-grade Digital Wallets have unique requirements for managing organizations’ needs. They become more critical when working at an enterprise level. There are some dimensions to consider when assessing the scale:

  • Multiple Entities – enterprises will likely have numerous Wallets for various purposes (e.g. HR department, investor relations). They will need to be able to use each Wallet in different ways. The existence of multiple entities within a larger entity introduces complexity.
  • Delegation – corporations do not sign legal documents and act directly; employees perform these tasks. Delegation and how it is managed and understood will be crucial for Digital Wallets. Suppose a corporation has delegated authority for some legal issues to a partner in a law firm. In that case, they would need to think about multiple organizations and levels of authority.
  • Performance – corporations using Digital Wallets may need to do operations at scales that eclipse what a person may ever do (e.g. provide a credential, validate a credential). While a Person could validate multiple Credentials within a few seconds (e.g. checking a contractor’s insurance and training are current), a corporation may do thousands or more in the same period.

Multiple Agents

Enterprises are more likely to have multiple agents – even of the same type – operating in the context of a single Digital Wallet.

Corporate functions require oversight and notification to operate large enterprises as cohesive entities. As an organization grows, it may want to consider using Agents in the corporate Digital Wallets to help manage the complexity. We can imagine Agents that perform various duties:

  • Accounting & Finance – management of payments, transactions, receipts, expenses, approvals, and reimbursements will likely create its own industry of tools used to get a handle on the finances of an enterprise. A Corporate Expense Agent could also be attached to an employee’s Digital Wallet.
  • Compliance – a business unit’s transactions may require multiple groups to have compliance monitors attached to various Wallets.
  • Operations – As organizations conduct more business with Digital Wallets, Agents can streamline an organization’s processes. Operations groups can attach themselves (as Agents) to various Digital Wallets.
  • Inter-Entity – Organizations thrive when different parts of the organization can share trusted information faster. As Digital Wallets evolve, Agents can share key events  (e.g. “contract signed,” “purchase order received”) instantly with looser integration than traditional systems integration requires.

​Delegation (Rights, Roles, and Permissions)

In Guardianship and Delegation, a delegation is an optional tool that users can use for guardianship and delegation. In an enterprise, delegation is required for most activities, as people carry out duties on behalf of the enterprise. Even when automated software is completing a task, the enterprise must delegate permissions, rights, or roles to allow it to do so. As a result, delegation is an inescapable process for enterprises.

Enterprises need to consider how they will delegate authority for the various rights, roles, and responsibilities that will make their Organization(s) successful.

Digital Wallets can be part of the delegation process. In addition to logging delegated actions, they can hold credentials that:

  • indicate the capabilities delegated to someone
  • can be updated or revoked as needed
  • provide cryptographic signing capabilities

Protection

When you think about some of the most protected items inside a large corporation, you need to consider things like the corporate seals – often held in a physical vault for safekeeping. The reality is that forging a corporate seal isn’t hard, but we put a premium on these important physical devices.

Your author believes that enterprises that adopt Digital Wallets will lead in many domains. Business opportunities are indeed one. Another is that they will lead in exploring the risks of using Digital Wallets and want to mitigate as much risk as possible.

Protection of Digital Wallets, particularly the master keys, will be crucial for enterprises. While delegation will allow risk to be categorized (e.g. moving all but the highest risk items into other Wallets), enterprises need to consider how they can put the processes and tools in place to protect and use a Digital Wallet wisely.

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This post, “Enterprise Digital Wallets,” is an excerpt from a report entitled The Current and Future State of Digital Wallets, which is being shared here as a 16-part series. Download a copy of the report. Read a complete summary.

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Also published on Medium.

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