A new multi-country consortium of Europe’s most trusted identity experts has today announced 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. 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 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.
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.
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.
Andri Heiðar Kristinsson, CEO at 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% of the eligible population access to eIDs where both the public and private sector 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‘ behavior 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.“
- 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.