North Macedonian government partners with Mastercard for distributed digital ID service
Mastercard is working with the government of the Republic of North Macedonia on a suite of digital identity and related services to help advance the country’s digital economy aspirations and help citizens more easily access government and business services.
The partners unveiled their plans, which include solutions for digital document signing and verification and other activities North Macedonian citizens can use in day-to-day life, according to the announcement. Electronic “Know Your Customer” applications will be among the first developed, in order to support remote opening of new bank accounts and prepaid and postpaid mobile phone accounts.
The digital identity technology used for the North Macedonian service is based on a distributed model, without a centralized database of identity information, and builds on the approach outlined in Mastercard’s Principles of Digital Identity vision paper, prioritizing privacy-by-design, the company states.
“Technology is changing our lives in ways we could have only dreamed just years ago,” states Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence for Mastercard. “The best solutions come by bringing together strong partners. That’s why we’re pleased to work with the North Macedonian government to address real problems for their citizens. With this service, they can use a digital identity for public services, while maintaining control of their information with security, privacy and trust.”
The project will build on the standards of Europe’s eIDAS and North Macedonia’s new digital identity regulations. It is intended to enable seamless interaction between businesses and government agencies in the region and around the world, Mastercard says. Open collaboration between governments, banks, mobile network operators, universities and other partners will be promoted by the partnership, and Mastercard also plans to support e-government initiatives and encourage related best practices in other jurisdictions.
Establishing a digital trust service is a foundation for propelling the country’s economy, according to North Macedonia Minister of Information Society and Administration Damjan Mancevski.
“This partnership will provide a digital identity service that improves the everyday experience, while increasing the efficiency of our public and private services on the road to greater economic growth,” said Nina Angelovska, Minister of Finance.
Mastercard touts the value of public private partnerships in the announcement, saying its deal with North Macedonia, like its deal with the French government, are examples of the cooperation between the public and private sectors which were recently lauded for their potential in helping meet digital identity needs in a recent World Economic Forum white paper.