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Estonia and Ukraine to collaborate on digital ID development

Estonia and Ukraine to collaborate on digital ID development

Estonia and Ukraine have signed a new cooperation agreement in Kyiv focused on fostering an exchange of knowledge in the field of digital transformation, reports the Baltic Times.

More specifically, the partnership between the countries will explore cyber security and national digital ID solutions.

To this end, the Estonian Information System Authority and Ukrainian agency Diia said they will work together to pilot a national mobile application modeled on the Diia application in Estonia.

The agreement comes at a time of increased cyberattacks against Ukraine’s digital infrastructure, and according to Estonia’s minister of entrepreneurship and information technology, Kristjan Järvan, the move represents another form of support from Estonia against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Further, Järvan explained that Ukraine sees Estonia as the key partner in developing its digital government, one generally considered among the most innovative and developed digital societies in the world.

Beyond the digital infrastructure partnership, Ukraine and Estonia also have plans to collaborate at the international level. In fact, the Estonian government recently invited Ukraine to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn to cooperate on several international projects.

Estonia eyes fintech and blockchain firms to grow digital ID

Estonia has accepted almost 17,000 applications since the launch of its e-residency program, with applicants having created more than 1,300 companies and contributed more than €4.3 million ($4.6 million) to Estonia in taxes and services.

The figures come from a new analysis by tech-focused publication ZDNet, which recently spoke with Estonia’s e-residency program head Kaspar Korjus.

The executive said the country is planning additional measures to boost the digital ID program further. For instance, the Estonian parliament has recently approved legislation that enables national bank accounts to be opened remotely, paving the way for fintechs to provide remote onboarding and verification of users via digital ID.

Case in point, local banks Swedbank and LHV Bank are reportedly conducting trials to test how video interviews can substitute in-person appointments at branches, a technology apparently similar to the one recently unveiled by Ondato.

“Future improvements, such as the development of e-banking, can make e-residency more accessible to entrepreneurs around the world,” Korjus told ZDNet.

More generally, the executive said there are several unexplored applications in the digital ID space that can benefit from Estonia’s e-residency program.

“For example, some companies encourage their customers to become e-residents because the government-backed digital identity is an incredibly effective solution for KYC/AML [know your customer/anti-money laundering laws],” Korjus says.

“There are still plenty of opportunities for using e-residency in this way, including in fintech and blockchain services.”

The Estonian government also recently unveiled a new artificial intelligence (AI)-focused initiative to foster the international development of digital services.

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