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What is an Identity Provider?
An Identity Provider is a computer system that issues credentials to individual end users and also verifies that the issued credentials are valid. Credential services are operated by Identity Providers. An Identity Provider might be a financial institution, commercial firm or a government agency. Each Identity Provider may operate one or more credential services, each of which issues end user credentials based on standards for identity verification and operations defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). You may hold credentials from multiple Identity Providers, some of which may be operated by the same company or organization. E-Authentication has established a "Federation" of Identity Providers including financial institutions, commercial firms and government agencies.