SSI Orbit Podcast
Empowerment Tech: Wallets, Data Vaults and Personal Agents (with Jamie Smith)
By Christine Martin
April 5, 2024

About Podcast Episode

Are you tired of feeling like a passive bystander in your digital interactions? What if there was a way to take control and shape your online experiences to work for you? In this thought-provoking episode of The SSI Orbit Podcast, host Mathieu Glaude sits down with Jamie Smith, Founder and CEO of, to explore the exciting world of empowerment tech.

Empowerment tech promises to put power back into individuals’ hands, allowing them to take an active role in their digital lives. Jamie delves into empowerment tech, which encompasses tools like digital wallets, verifiable credentials, and personal AI agents designed to help customers get things done on their terms.

Some of the valuable topics discussed include:

  • Understanding the alignment of incentives between businesses and customers
  • Exploring the role of regulators in promoting empowerment tech
  • Uncovering the potential of Open Banking and Open Finance
  • Envisioning the future of personal AI agents and their impact on customer experiences

Take advantage of this opportunity to gain insights into the cutting-edge world of empowerment tech and how it could revolutionize how we interact with businesses and services. Tune in now!


Key Insights

  • Empowerment tech puts the individual at the center, enabling them to make better decisions and get things done on their terms.
  • Aligning incentives between businesses and customers is crucial for creating sustainable and valuable relationships.
  • Regulators play a vital role in promoting empowerment tech by shaping the environment for individuals to be active participants.
  • Open Banking and Open Finance are potential trigger points for empowerment tech, enabling individuals to control and share their financial data securely.
  • Personal AI agents trained on an individual’s data can provide personalized recommendations and insights, creating immense value.


  • Implementing digital wallets and verifiable credentials as foundational tools for empowerment tech.
  • Leveraging small language models (SLMs) tailored to an individual’s data and needs.
  • Building trust through ethical design patterns and transparent data practices.
  • Exploring new commercial models and incentive structures that align with empowerment tech principles.


  • Evaluating the alignment of incentives between businesses and customers to identify potential friction points.
  • Designing digital experiences that prioritize the individual’s needs and goals.
  • Implementing governance frameworks to define reasonable data-sharing practices for different transactions.
  • Establishing trust through transparent onboarding processes and clear communication of data practices.


  • 00:02 Defining Empowerment Tech
  • 02:01 Aligning Incentives Between Customers and Businesses 

  • 04:41 The Role of Regulators in Promoting Empowerment Tech 

  • 07:57 The Potential of Open Banking and Open Finance

  • 09:39 The Rise of Personal AI Agents 

  • 16:21 Wallets, Credentials, and the Future of Digital Interactions 

  • 21:50 Platforms, Protocols, and the Economics of Empowerment Tech 

  • 28:47 Rethinking User Interfaces and Device-Centric Experiences

  • 35:22 Generational Shifts and the Future of Digital Relationships 

  • 41:16 Building Trust Through Design and Ethics

Additional resources:

About Guest

Jamie Smith is the Founder and CEO of Customer Futures Ltd, a leading advisory firm helping businesses navigate the opportunities of disruptive and customer-empowering digital technologies. With over 15 years of experience in digital identity, privacy, and personal AI, Jamie is a recognized expert in the empowerment tech movement. He is passionate about creating new value with personal data and empowering consumers with innovative digital tools. Jamie regularly shares his insights on the future of digital experiences through his weekly Customer Futures Newsletter.



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