This is the fifth iteration of ABI Research's Mobile Identities and Derived Credentials market data, with historical data from 2019 forecast through 2027 for mobile citizen credentials.
Worldwide, the 2021 installed base of mobile citizen credentials landed at 322.0 million. This is forecast to increase to 425.0 million in 2022, demonstrating a Year-over-Year (YoY) growth of 32.0%.
Mobile driver’s licenses arrived at 50.4 million derived credentials in 2021, demonstrating a strong base from which to drive growth. Mobile driver’s license programs are showing promise in a number of regions, such as growing implementations in a number of U.S. states and the Brazilian digital driver’s license. Greece announced plans for a mobile driver’s license in early 2022, as did South Korea, which is planning for the impending availability of a digital credential in mid-2022. Likewise, Singapore began introducing a mobile driver’s license this year. Australia expects a mobile driver’s license in 2023.
Mobile healthcare credentials continued to gain traction in 2021 following an initial drive as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mobile healthcare is often integrated with mID (such as in the Estonian model), meaning penetration rates can be low in some regions. Mobile healthcare arrived at 13.1 million derived credentials in 2022, increasing to 18.8 million in 2028.
Mobile national IDs in circulation landed at 257.5 million in 2021, making it, by far, the most widespread mobile citizen credential. Penetration is relatively high and growing in Asia and Europe, with the looming European electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS) regulation (September 2023) set to drive further growth. eIDAS will lay the foundation for considerable uptake from 2023, including in recent Greek and Belgian programs that began in 2022, joining a host of other nations’ mobile national ID programs.
Mobile passports still hadn’t gotten off the ground in 2021. There would likely be strong uptake for a mobile-based passport if a solution were approved; however, despite a number of working groups active in the ICAO, mobile passports are not likely to become a possibility during the forecast period. A number of solutions exist to expedite the journey through a terminal and speed up boarding, but an independent, ICAO-approved mobile credential is yet to be seen. That being said, Finland has expressed interest in trialing a digital European Union (EU) passport. This will be for travel between Finland and Croatia, and a similar case for between Canada and the Netherlands.
Mobile voter’s credentials will land lower than other derived credential applications, with only 1 million credentials in circulation in 2021. Supplied primarily by iVoting as a separate solution to the mID in Estonia and the extension to the itsme solution in Belgium, mobile voting will tend to be merged with an mID. Some independent solutions may be developed during the forecast period, such as the Voatz app used in West Virginia, but it may be a number of years before these are established as a trusted solution. Mobile voter’s credentials are forecast to only grow to 2.0 million by 2027.
The starting point for forecasts is the determination of the installed base of smartphones in the regions shown, based on existing ABI Research knowledge bases. Then, using primary and secondary data, the number of users of any mobile/derived credential program in countries within a particular region are used to drive out a total number of mobile identities in each region. This is then divided into individual mobile credential applications to provide additional detail.
ABI Research cross-references figures with leading industry vendors and clients to provide understanding and viewpoints on the market, as well as validation of empirical data. Interviews conducted allow for the establishment of drivers, inhibitors, and trends. ABI Research also gathers further secondary information from various news services, whitepapers, company and product portfolios, and financial reports, among others. Secondary data enable ABI Research to create and track market conditions and growth rates to gauge market size and trends.
Tables present market data for each of the main vertical applications within the government and healthcare citizen Identity (ID) market: driver’s licenses, passports, national IDs, healthcare cards, and voter’s IDs.
A driver’s license can be provisioned on a smartphone, meaning that the driver can present the mobile credential in any given situation in which they would typically hand over the physical document to prove identity or their validity to drive. The mobile derived credential has the full capability and legality of the physical document, but with the added benefit of mobile functionalities. It must be available at all times in the case of the law enforcement roadside checks. Usually offered as a solution by the national or state-level driving authority (Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), etc.).
Issuance of a national ID as a mobile companion alongside the physical document. These can take a number of form factors, such as an ID-enabled Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card inserted or embedded into the mobile device, an app supplied by a Mobile Network Operator (MNO), or a derived solution using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Many Mobile Identity (mID) solutions will see the integration of healthcare and voter’s cards with it, meaning that, in some regions, mobile voting and healthcare mobile penetration will be low.
This enables citizens to access healthcare, book and cancel appointments, file prescriptions, and access personal records through a mobile platform. This derived credential may take the form of deriving a physical healthcare card onto a mobile device or downloading an app to integrate with citizen credentials to allow access through an online portal. Most often, this will be integrated with a national ID on a mobile device, especially in countries with public healthcare, as they can be managed easier by relevant authorities and incorporating both credentials in a single solution will provide convenience for end users.
Passports, permissions to travel, flight information, and visas can be uploaded to a mobile device to be used at a terminal. This means that passports can be displayed on a mobile phone screen to enable check-in and ID checks at air terminals without the need for the physical document. Given the growth of Logical Data Structure 2 (LDSv2) credentials in the travel market, this could integrate well with the added functionality and biometric capability of contemporary mobile handsets.
Solutions for mobile voting can include the ability to derive a voter’s card onto a mobile device and use it as a companion to the physical document, or the use of an independent app, as seen by the use of Voatz in West Virginia for citizens living abroad. Any solution that provides a citizen with a mobile-based election vote is included under this definition. However, penetration in the mobile arena is generally low due to many regions having low smartphone penetration and governments and citizens can be skeptical as to the trustworthiness and security of remote voting.
To compare the rate of mobile identity and dervied credentials with physical documentation, the market data report also compiles various data on physical credentials. The next section defines these types of credentials.
A driver’s license authorizes the legal holder to drive a motor vehicle. Driver’s license standards, design, and security features are set at the local, state, and country levels. Some countries opt to use the driver’s license as their main official form of identification, rather than adopting a national ID scheme.
The healthcare industry usually has both governmental and private company influences. You can normally find a mixture of the two running side by side or independently. Healthcare cards can either physically contain or otherwise hold the key to unlock the information from a database. The healthcare industry holds extremely sensitive information about a patient and medical history.
Healthcare is a lucrative market, with all countries having access to some form of healthcare service, whether private or public. Standards for healthcare are set at the country level. Companies operating within the healthcare card sector often use their own branded standard solutions. Extensive competition within this market gives healthcare insurance companies and governments access to a wide range of healthcare products and solutions.
A national ID is a document adopted by a country to give its citizens a form of identification. National ID cards are usually mandatory for countries that have a national ID program.
Bringing a national ID project to market is an extremely large and complex operation. Whether implementing a first-, second-, or third-generation model, volumes issued are high when compared as an overall percentage of the population. No international ID card standard exists, so each program and implementation will vary depending on the brief. Setting such standards may involve the creation or adjustment of laws. National ID issuance delays can often be accredited to the lengthy time involved in resolving such matters.
A passport is a document issued by a national government to its citizens to allow travel to and from different countries. Passports are not mandatory and are only issued to citizens upon request. Currently, there are three types of passports in worldwide circulation: legacy, Machine-Readable Passports (MRPs), and e-passports. Legacy documents are being phased out and replaced by MRPs and e-passports, to meet the standards and mandates set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which sets passport standards on a worldwide level.
The e-passport contains a contactless chip that holds personal and biometric data, and is the second-generation passport to have standards set by ICAO. To adhere to these standards, the data stored must include data about the passport holder, a digital photograph, and data about the passport itself. The contactless chip should allow quicker clearance times and make counterfeit documents extremely difficult to produce. It is up to the passport manufacturers to issue documents that comply with the ICAO’s standards set to combat fraudulence, terrorism, and other criminal activities, and there is always the possibility that each new generation passport will have new standards.
A voter’s card entitles the holder to vote and must be presented at their polling station to identify the cardholder as a legitimate voter and to eliminate duplicate votes. All plastic and smart cards with a validity period are included in the voter’s card section; electronic voting machines—or any type of documentation that is distributed prior to elections that has a one-time use—are excluded from the data.