Governments slowly coming around to IDSPs for digital identity schemes

Governments slowly coming around to IDSPs for digital identity schemes

Governments are starting to pay more attention to digital identity. In their digital identification scheme development process, governments have two options: either take care of identification and authentication in-house, or reach out to and leverage the industry expertise of digital identity service providers (IDSPs), writes Arthur Mickoleit, senior principal analyst at Gartner in an opinion piece for Public Technology.

It makes no sense holding separate digital credentials for different services, so governments are more accepting of “bring your own identity” practices when engaging with government agencies and services, Mickoleit predicts. Multiple digital credentials would not only be inefficient, but they would also increase the number of vulnerabilities.

By 2023, more than 80 percent of government services that ask for authentication will support access from multiple IDSPs, with the government acting as an identity broker, but this is already happening across Europe.

According to eIDAS regulation, the digital identity obtained in one country can be used in others to access public services. A number of digital identity schemes have been developed so far, especially in Norway and Denmark where all citizens use digital identities for government and commercial services. On the other hand, countries such as Germany, Australia and the U.S. are working on developing digital identity solutions that can be accepted by citizens.

There are also unsuccessful schemes due to interest in high levels of security instead of providing a seamless, frictionless user experience.

Only one in five people in France has signed up for the country’s FranceConnect service, according to Mickoleit. Less than one in ten UK residents has signed up for GOV.UK Verify.

Government CIOs have to pay attention to pilots and fast-growing technologies such as blockchain that could solve many digital ID issues related to governance, security and privacy. Security will remain an important issue, as past data breaches have led to identity exploitation.

Telia Norway, Signicat leverage national ID to reduce fraud cost

With fraud increasing in the mobile market in the country, Telia Norway partnered in April 2019 with Signicat to offer support for digital identity verification through the Norwegian electronic identity (eID) BankID, the company announced. In the nine months of partnership, Telia Norway has reduced fraud cost by 4 million NOK ($426,548).

“By using digital identity to verify new mobile customers,” said Geir Jangås, VP Digital and Analytics, Telia Norway, “we have not only achieved our goals of significantly reducing fraud, but we have also demonstrated to our customers that Telia Norway delivers innovation and security focused around their needs by maintaining a convenient user experience.”

Telia now provides a seamless, frictionless customer experience that only requires typing the mobile number and date of birth, and choosing BankID or BankID on Mobile. Completion rate is more than 70 percent, although customers have to present their digital identity during onboarding.

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