What are Digital Credentials?

Digital Credentials are the digital equivalents of physical credentials such as licenses, identity documents, registrations and permits. 

The Ministry of Citizens’ Services / B.C. Government has developed a secured digital wallet, called BC Wallet, that can be used for storing and managing Digital Credentials. 

The information in Digital Credentials can be presented, securely and confidentially, to anyone who accepts them, but only with the explicit permission of the wallet owner. 

Digital Credentials are tamper-resistant and securely stored. They can be presented in part, revealing just the information required for a transaction, or even used to prove something without revealing it. For example, a person can prove their age without having to reveal their date of birth. Digital Credentials are based on open standards and technologies available for anyone to review. 

A screenshot of the BC Wallet app showing two credentials

Validating a Digital Credential takes seconds and is done automatically without human interpretation. This can save hours or even days of manual verification processes. Also, the original issuer of a Digital Credential doesn’t have to be contacted for the validating party to be confident that a Digital Credential came from the right source. 

This gives Digital Credentials and BC Wallet a high degree of privacy preservation, because no one need be informed about the use of Digital Credentials. It also provides a high degree of assurance about the Credentials’ contents, thanks to the tamper-resistant technologies and secure sharing. 

Digital Credentials, when used for identity, are the latest evolution that the Government of British Columbia is exploring. Other identity solutions have been used in BC for over 20 years, starting with BCeID back in 2002, and more recently the BC Services Card login service. The government is committed to continuing to evolve digital solutions to meet the increased demands and security needs of the modern digital economy. 

See also