The Republic of North Macedonia has partnered with Mastercard to launch a new digital identity initiative in the country. The program is intended to boost North Macedonia’s digital economy, and to make it easier for citizens to gain access to public and private services.
North Macedonia recently enacted new digital identity regulations, and its program will reflect the European Union’s eIDAS standards. The digital ID platform will provide utilities like digital document signing and identity verification to support secure Know Your Customer interactions. For example, citizens will initially be able to use their IDs for proof of identity when signing new mobile contracts, or for remote registration when opening a new bank account.
The program will then expand to cover other government services and commercial applications.
“This partnership will provide a digital identity service that improves the everyday experience, while increasing the efficiency of our public and private services on the road to greater economic growth,” said North Macedonia Minister of Finance Nina Angelovska.
The North Macedonian system will not require a central database, and will instead opt for a distributed model that is in keeping with the privacy-by-design approach detailed in Mastercard’s white paper on the Principles of Digital Identity. Those consumer-oriented principles include privacy, transparency, security, inclusion, and consent.
“Propelling our economy is critical,” added Damjan Mancevski, North Macedonia’s Minister of Information Society and Administration. “To meet our potential, everyone must establish a digital trust service foundation.”
Mastercard believes that the new ID program will facilitate open collaboration between the public and the private sectors, both domestically and internationally. The company recently launched a digital ID pilot program with a pair of universities in Australia, and made its Mastercard Identity Check platform available to Federal Bank customers in India.
Mastercard has also been working with Samsung to develop device-based digital identities.