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Belgium launches national digital identity wallet

Belgium launches national digital identity wallet

Belgium has become one of the first countries to launch a digital identity wallet after the publication of the European Union’s eIDAS 2.0, the regulation setting standards for national electronic identification systems.

The digital identity, named MyGov.be, went live on Tuesday with the Belgium Federal Government promising that the digital identity will provide a smoother experience with administrative work.

MyGov.be is optional to use, raising questions on whether the government will achieve significant uptake. According to a 2023 survey by Deloitte, 71 percent of Belgians do not want a digital ID on their phone. Another 79 percent say do not want a mobile driver’s license (mDL) while half refuse to fully digitize their IDs.

The national digital wallet was envisioned as an alternative to the popular itsme app, a digital identity app owned by a consortium of local telecom companies and banks that has more than 7 million registered users in Belgium. Residents can register for MyGov.be using an identity card, the eID system, or itsme.

The wallet application will hold official documents and allow users access to public services, The Brussels Times reports.

“In Belgium, we live in a complex institutional model, which is why making life as easy as possible for our citizens is so important,” says Secretary of State for Digitalisation Mathieu Michel.

The app will include an electronic mailbox for government documents and 683 services. The electronic wallet will also hold identity data, COVID-19 vaccination records, birth and marriage certificates and ISI+, a healthcare card for children below the age 12 and for adults who do not own an electronic card.

By 2025, the app will incorporate eIDs and mobile driving licenses and by 2026, the European Health Insurance Card should also be added. Another planned addition is the My Benefits platform which helps prove the right to benefits.

“Eventually, this application will help ensure people have the necessary documents with them at all times,” says Michel.

This post was updated at 11:59am Eastern on May 20, 2024 to update the number of registered itsme users.

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