Banks can capitalize on digital ID schemes – like Norway’s BankID or Belgium’s itsme – by first proving they can solve a compelling problem like addressing money laundering, Know Your Customer regulations or remote account enrollment. So says Howard Berg, MD Gemalto UK, in a recent International Banker article. Once the financial institution has ‘eaten its own dogfood,’ so to speak, it can then look to extend the use of the digital ID technology to other non-financial arenas such as government, health care and private sector service delivery.
Belgium’s BankID is a federated ID program – supported by the country’s four leading banks and three of the largest telecom operators – that topped 350,000 users in its first year
He cites Norway’s BankID and Belgium’s itsme programs as good examples of digital identity schemes that have crossed over into third party services. The mobile application from BankID Norway is “being used an average of 3.5 times a week – a significant increase on the twice a week average when it wasn’t available on mobile platforms.” Obviously, mobile is key to adoption for bank-initiated digital identity.
The itsme scheme in Belgium is a federated ID program supported by the country’s four leading banks and three of the largest telecom operators. This cooperation enabled the scheme to be immediately available to the much of the population, attracting 350,000 users in its first year.
Both BankID and itsme began with banking services but quickly expanded to include government services as well. In Belgium, itsme is used for healthcare and insurance authentication as well as tax return filing. BankID facilitates vehicle rental, property leasing and postal deliveries.
The itsme app can be downloaded on Google Play and AppStore, and users can enroll through
the itsme website using their Belgian eID and card reader or via a mobile KYC procedure. Users choose a five-digit code and/or scan a fingerprint via their handset’s biometric reader.
Once enrollment is complete, log-in to participating digital services is simple. The user clicks on the itsme logo on-screen and enters their mobile phone number. A notification is immediately sent to the phone. The user opens the app and clicks to confirm, then enters their five-digit code or scans the fingerprint.
According to Berg, “digital identity schemes could present a drastic, positive change in the way in which customers interact with online services and gives banks and financial institutions the opportunity to be a driving force for this change.”