Acceptance of Identity (ID) credentials in European Digital Identity Wallets (EDIWs) by banks, insurance firms, and universities will play a significant role in citizen adoption. By mid-2024, all service providers in partnership with governments in the European Union (EU) will accept ID documentation in this form, helping to achieve Europe’s digitalization goals through the upcoming revised electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services (eIDAS) regulation.
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Service Providers across All EU Countries Will Accept EDIW Credentials by Mid-2024
September 2023 is the deadline date for all European Union (EU) member states to have made available a digital Identity (ID) wallet under the upcoming revised electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services (eIDAS) regulation. Leading up to this date, service providers will be making preparations to gain compliance with this new format of digital ID within verification and authentication processes. By the middle of 2024, all partnered service providers are expected to conform to the new ID format and accept citizens’ mobile ID credentials through the European Digital Identity Wallet (EDIW), aiding the realization of the European Commission’s (EC) goal to create an inclusive and modernized ID format that enhances user experience, supports private-public partnerships, and is interoperable within the continent.
EDIW Format Benefits Corporations and End Users
Dedicated and use case-specific pilots are set to begin in early 2023, including in banking, insurance, university, and payment contexts. These will run alongside investments from service providers in preparation for the new norm of authentication, verification, and attribute sharing between citizens and businesses. The EC can be considered to be forcing the hand of service providers to make investments in this direction and gain eIDAS compliance, although it is indeed to their benefit and in their best interests. Costs are lowered, where existing verification processes are outdated and require staff’s manual involvement, alongside the benefit for citizens receiving a more frictionless user experience. Essentially, necessitating the acceptance of EDIW credentials forces investment, and where this investment is made, the best course of action for service providers is to promote and endorse this medium as much as possible, while being mutually beneficial to the citizen and furthering the EC’s goal of a digitalized European single market.
Functionality of EDIW Is Key to Adoption
Functionality has always been a key consideration for the EC in revising eIDAS and digital wallet plans. The importance of augmenting use cases is critical to creating an ecosystem between governments, enterprises, and citizens where the digital ID scheme at play is actively beneficial versus physical credentials. In Europe, specifically, proving ID is not cumbersome or a point of difficulty for many citizens. This necessitates significantly improved functionality for citizen uptake of the EDIW, examples being ease of storage, machine readability, and streamlined online use across a number of applications. The year 2024 is one of major acceptance of the EDIW in the private world, which extends wallet technology’s usefulness; for this reason, 2024 can be considered as the key year for wallet adoption. The forced acceptance of digital ID wallets by service providers is a crucial step in promoting wallet uptake.
As well as functionality, an important factor of the wallet is inclusivity, in terms of it being optional, and a companion to, physical documentation. This is the case for virtually all mobile IDs, being a derived form of the physical, resulting in the physical market not being adversely affected by the growth of mobile. In fact, eIDAS and the EDIW may spur the growth of smart credentials by a need for reissuance to align with new standardization and technologies. Additionally, we will see growth of the use of these credentials, analogous to how digital payment wallets have grown the market of contactless payments.