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Norway to replace BankID on mobile with biometric apps for improved security

Norway to replace BankID on mobile with biometric apps for improved security

Norway says it plans to replace the digital ID authentication platform BankID with new apps that will require either face or fingerprint biometrics, and passwords or PINs in some cases, for users to log in and access banking services online, reports NRK.

Moves to transition from the BankID to a biometric system were disclosed by an official of Norwegian national payment system BankAxept, Jan Bjerved, in an interview with the country’s public broadcaster, according to a Google translation of the report.

The official says replacing the BankID, which has been in use since 2009, is not only meant to streamline the way people can verify their digital identity online, but it will also reduce the time required to log in to 10 seconds, down from 30. The new system will also enhance user security.

Bjerved says it is not yet clear when the old system will be phased out but that may likely happen next year, although the intention is to allow a smooth transition from the old to the new system, writes The Local.

The article also cites an official from the security department of the National Communications Authority (NKOM), Svein Scheie, as saying another reason for transiting from the BankID system is that the technology on which it was build has become obsolete.

Scheie says the system was designed for mobile devices with physical SIM cards, but many mobile devices these days do not function with traditional SIMs. “Many mobile companies are moving away from physical SIM cards. Then it will not be possible to use BankID on mobile as it is today,” Scheie says.

Meanwhile, Scheie adds that the physical version of the BankID will remain in use for those who want to.

BankID was reported late last year to have 4.3 million users, many of them interacting with the app on a daily basis. The software company behind the app, Vipps, said around the same time that it would integrate biometrics to enforce different levels of authorization, as the app’s use is so commonplace people may let friends or relatives use it.

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