A relying party is
|“||a provider of online services to a subject. Within the ecosystem, a relying party is responsible for interacting with credential, identity, and attribute providers as needed to verify parties with whom they exchange information.||”|
|“||[a]n entity that relies upon the subscriber's credentials, typically to process a transaction or grant access to information or a system.||”|
|“||[a]n entity that relies on assertions of individuals' identities from identity providers in order to provide services to individuals. In effect, the relying party delegates aspects of identity management to the identity provider(s). Such delegation requires protocol exchanges, trust, and a common understanding of semantics of information exchanged between the relying party and the identity provider.||”|
|“||a party that relies on the security and authenticity of a key or key pair for applying cryptographic protection and removing or verifying the protection that has been applied. This includes parties relying on the public key in a public key certificate and parties that share a symmetric key.||”|
A relying party relies on results of an on-line authentication to establish the identity or attribute of a subscriber for the purpose of some transaction. The verifier and the relying party may be the same entity, or they may be separate entities. If they are separate entities, the relying party normally receives an assertion from the verifier. The relying party ensures that the assertion came from a verifier trusted by the relying party. The relying party also processes any additional information in the assertion, such as personal attributes or expiration times.