DHS invests in digital credential technology

Six companies, including three based in Europe, were awarded contracts following an agency solicitation last year.
The seal of the Department of Homeland Security is seen on a podium on Feb. 23, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate announced on Monday that six technology companies had been offered contracts to develop digital wallet services, part of an agency goal to advance digital technology used in the context of immigration and travel. 

Three U.S.-based companies — Credence ID, Hushmesh, and SpruceID — won awards, according to the DHS press release, as did the European companies Ubiqu, Procivis, and Netis d.o.o. The awards came after a solicitation the agency posted last year. Each company has received just under $200,000, though the firms could eventually earn up to $1.7 million. 

“DHS is the authoritative source of some of the most highly valued credentials issued by the U.S. Federal Government for cross-border travel, demonstrating employment eligibility, residency status and citizenship,” Anil John, technical director of S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation program (SVIP), said in a press release. 

He continued: “The capabilities developed under this solicitation will ensure that those credentials can be stored securely and verified properly while preserving the privacy of individuals using openly developed standards that are globally acceptable, highly secure, and accessible to all.”


DHS’ investment in digital wallet services — where people could ultimately store personal information — comes as the government ramps up its focus on digital credential systems, including through services like,, and mobile drivers licenses. 

Rebecca Heilweil

Written by Rebecca Heilweil

Rebecca Heilweil is an investigative reporter for FedScoop. She writes about the intersection of government, tech policy, and emerging technologies. Previously she was a reporter at Vox's tech site, Recode. She’s also written for Slate, Wired, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications. You can reach her at Message her if you’d like to chat on Signal.

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