A new multi-country consortium of Europe’s most trusted identity experts has announced its proposal to deliver a large-scale, cross-border payments pilot strongly aligned with the aims of the European Commission’s EU digital ID wallet program.
Six countries (Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia and Norway) are part of the consortium, led by NOBID (Nordic-Baltic eID Project).
The consortium’s proposal will bring to life the most widely used of the European Union’s priority use cases for the wallet – payments.
All the countries in the consortium have well-established digital infrastructures.
Under NOBID’s leadership following its successful harmonisation of several national eID programs comprising tens of millions of European citizens, the group will collaborate to show how payments and ID can be combined across borders and in multiple currencies.
The consortium is being actively supported by leading digital government agencies, banks, enterprises and technology providers and will leverage the mature digital ID infrastructures of the six respective nations.
The EU digital ID wallet is a biometrically-secured app that, when it comes into being, will allow citizens across the continent to easily verify their ID, access public and private services and store sensitive digital documents in one place.
The consortium’s proposal to be one of four EU digital ID wallet pilots is fully aligned with the EU’s key aims for its digital identity framework overall.
The consortium’s proposal focuses on payments, one of the top priority use cases in the EU’s digital ID wallet vision.
Its implementation would leverage existing payment infrastructure to enable payment issuance, instant payments, account-to-account transfers and payment acceptance both in-store and online.
It is designed to also complement wider EU plans to empower member states and streamline cross-border payments, such as the European Payments Initiative (EPI) and the Digital Euro.
The project has unrivalled support from leaders in banking and payments, including DSGV in Germany, DNB and BankID in Norway, Nets in Denmark, Intesa Sanpaolo, PagoPA and ABILab in Italy and Greiðsluveitan in Iceland.
Technology partners participating in the consortium include Thales, iProov, Signicat, RB, Auðkenni, IPZS, Poste Italiane, Intesi Group, InfoCert, FBK and Latvian State Radio and Television Centre.
Merchants that will be testing out the payment solution include Elkjøp in Norway and REWE-group in Germany.
Digital ID in the Participating Nations:
- Denmark has manifested to a digital-first approach and has achieved an eID adoption of more than 90% of their citizens. Millions of citizens access public and private digital services through their eIDs every day.
- Denmark has also been a forerunner in digital payments. Today, millions of Danish citizens and businesses benefit from existing digital payment solutions and infrastructures.
- Recently, Denmark has also launched MittID, which is the next generation eiD solution for their citizens.
- One of the most advanced countries in eID and digital payments. In 2008, the Norwegian ID Gateway was launched and serves as the main connecting hub for all electronic IDs and digital services. This gateway serves more than 90% of all citizens and was used 317 million times in 2021.
- Today, more than 1,000 digital services (public and private) are connected to the ID gateway. Services include applying for school, filing taxes, buying a car, getting married or starting a company.
- Norway is one of the leading countries in digital payments using eID. More than 75% (4.1 million) of Norwegians, for example, use the popular digital payment tool called Vipps.
- Ninety five percent of the eligible population (13 years or older) has an eID on a smartphone authentication app or has an eID card, including 75% of over 75s.
- Icelandic eID holders authenticated more than 20 times a month in 2021. eSignature is also widely adopted.
- Forty seven percent of those with a driver’s license already have a digital license in their mobile phone wallet, a valid identification method in Iceland.
- Digital identity in Italy is currently comprised of two separate solutions: The Public Digital Identity System (SPID), which had 33 million users in September 2022; and the Electronic Identity Card (CIE), used by 30.6 million Italians.
- In the last eight months of 2022, SPID was used nearly 675 million times to access online services such as tax services and to access digital Covid certificates.
- The Strategy ‘Italia 2026’ announced in April 2021 aims at strengthening the uptake of digital identity to reach 70% of the adult population by 2026, in line with EU-wide targets.
- From 2023, the Law on Identity Documents will provide eID cards as a mandatory identity document for Latvian citizens and non-citizens over the age of 15, while for those living in foreign countries – from 2025.
- The identity card is an identification tool guaranteed by the state, so citizens can easily, quickly and effectively receive any governmental electronic services.
- During the last 15 years, the eSignature was used over 55 million times and has had nearly 350,000 unique users in the 15 years since launch.
DSGV in Germany
- DSGV is the largest banking group in Germany, with more than 510 members represented through more than 15,000 branches, covering the full range of financial needs of retail customers and enterprises.
- There are more than 49 million active accounts connected to the members of the Savings Banks Association, handling around €3.38 billion in business volume last year alone.
- Through the multibank-mobile app, Sparkasse, DSGV has delivered an advanced solution to citizens wanting to do their banking on a smartphone – the app was rated best multi-banking app in Germany.
“For the EU digital ID wallet to thrive, it needs a reference implementation that sets the bar high,” says Tor Alvik, Project Manager of the consortium.
“The consortium has all the ingredients for success: multi-nation participation; extensive digital identity experience; a hugely compelling use case and the backing of the best in the banking and payments industry.
We are hugely excited to turn the EU vision into a reality and make smoother, more readily available ID services possible for all.”