European Commission’s EU digital identity wallet pilot program proposed by six countries

European Commission’s EU digital identity wallet pilot program proposed by six countries. Image: volodyar/Shutterstock.com

A NEW multi-country consortium of Europe’s most trusted identity experts announced on Wednesday, September 14 its proposal to deliver a large-scale, cross-border payments pilot strongly aligned with the aims of the European Commission’s EU digital identity wallet program.

Led by NOBID (Nordic-Baltic eID Project), the six countries part of the consortium linked with the European Commission’s EU digital identity wallet program are; Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia and Norway.

The consortium’s proposal will bring to life the most widely used of the European Union’s priority use cases for wallet – payments.

According to NOBID, all the countries in the consortium have well-established digital infrastructures and under its leadership and 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 effortlessly, 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 identity infrastructures of the six respective nations,” NOBID said.

According to the Nordic-Baltic eID Project, the “EU digital identity 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 identity wallet pilots is fully aligned with the EU’s key aims for its digital identity framework overall.”

Tor Alvik, Project Manager of the consortium, said; “For the EU digital ID wallet to thrive, it needs a reference implementation that sets the bar high. 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.”

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.

Artūrs Toms Plešs, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development in the Republic of Latvia, said; “Although a natural step forward, the digital ID wallet, no doubt, will expand the pool of possibilities to further improve our digital space and allow new products to be developed within the whole of the European Union.

“Additionally, it also aims to improve our access to highly reliable and secure electronic identity attributes and will build upon the ongoing progress with the addition of new commercial services to the range of national e-identification platforms.

“When it comes to digital identification, this is a next-generation tool.”

Steffen Sutorius, Director of the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency, said; “Millions of Norwegians use their eIDs to access thousands of digital services daily. More than 90 per cent of citizens in Norway have access to an eID, which they can use to benefit from public and private digital services via our national ID gateway.

“Through our cooperation within the eID field, we have strong ties to the financial sector in Norway. Digital payments have been part of the daily life of Norwegians for years. Leveraging our experience and expertise in this area makes a strong foundation for carrying out a large-scale pilot of the payment use case and the EU Digital Wallet.

“We are very excited to pilot the wallet and prepare for the next generation of eID.”

Dr Joachim Schmalzl, Executive Board Member of the Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband (DSGV or German Savings Banks Association), said; “We are very happy to be part of NOBID and to support the ideas behind it. A successful EU wallet and digital identity implementation will be a strong basis for a new European, standardised cross-border digital ecosystem.

“The German Savings Banks Group, with its 363 savings banks and more than 280,000 employees, works hard to offer comprehensive, up-to-date digital identity and digital payment solutions to its more than 40 million customers.

“We therefore sincerely appreciate the early testing of the coming eiDAS2 regulation in an EU pilot. This new approach will improve the practical usage and success of new policies.” 

Silvana Filipponi, Head of Digital Identity at the Department of Digital Transformation at the Ministry of Technological Innovation and Digital Transition in Italy, said; “For the Italian government, the consortium is a great opportunity to highlight part of its digital strategy: digitise payments as a means to accelerate the digital transformation of the entire civil service system.”

Andri H. Kristinsson, CEO of Digital Iceland, said “Iceland is a proud co-applicant in the NOBID project. Building a pilot of the EU Wallet with payments as a use case is an exciting yet challenging subject. Iceland has already 95 per cent of the eligible population access to eIDs where both the public and private sectors offer services base their services on in the forms of identification and authentication.

“Electronic payments are also by far the most common form of monetary exchange for goods and services in the country.

“We, therefore, see our infrastructure and citizens‘ behaviour well suited to be part of the next development phase for cross-border services, the EU Wallet. We very much look forward to participating in the project.“

Mr.Ģirts Ozol, Chairman of the Management Board at SJSC Latvia State Radio and Television Centre, said; “The concept of the European digital identity and the development of the digital identity wallet will mark a turning point for trusted service providers in Europe by unlocking new personalised services that will be developed to be cross-border by default, while at the same time solving some of the challenges that all EU countries are facing in the process of implementing the eIDAS requirements like electronic identification (cross-border), identity matching, and compatibility of different service provider solutions across the EU.

“The Latvian State Radio Television Centre is very proud to be part of the NOBID consortium, and we are looking forward to shaping the further development of the single digital market together with our partners in the NOBID consortium.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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