“Biometric authentication will play an important role in the app.”
European Union authorities are working on a mobile identity app that will have digital wallet functionality, according to a new report from the Financial Times.
The app, plans for which are to be officially unveiled this week, has been conceived as a refresh of the bloc’s eIDAS digital identity standard. It will be designed for use across all 27 member states of the European Union, and allow citizens to house within it digital versions of identity documents like driver’s licences.
Intriguingly, EU authorities are also reportedly planning to allow end users to upload payment cards to the app. That would turn it into a competitor against other mobile payments platforms like Apple Pay and Google Pay, in addition to a mobile ID app.
In combining ID and digital wallet features, the app’s architects are hoping to enable functionality that would streamline transactions requiring both identity documents and payment. For example, an end user would be able to rent a car at an airport using only the app, and without needing to wait in line.
Biometric authentication will play an important role in the app. Users will gain access to their mobile ID’s by performing a biometric scan on their device, which could take the form of fingerprint, facial, or an eye-based modality. EU authorities are also taking measures to protect user data – no great surprise in the home of the PSD2 and GDPR regulations – including architecture that will ensure that companies interacting with the app will not be able to access sensitive information.
European Union authorities hope to have the digital wallet fully operational in a year or so, according to the report.