A consortium of six European countries has announced plans for a digital wallet pilot aligned with the aims of the European Union’s digital identity wallet program. The project will focus on payments functionality in particular, with the aim of facilitating convenient transactions across borders and currencies.
The consortium comprises organizations from Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, and Norway, and is being led by the Nordic-Baltic eID Project (“NOBID”). Technology partners involved in the project include Thales, Signicat, RB, Auðkenni, IPZS, Poste Italiane, Intesi Group, InfoCert, FBK, Latvian State Radio and Television Centre, and iProov.
From the banking sector, the project has the official support of,DNB and BankID in Norway, Nets in Denmark, DSGV in Germany, Intesa Sanpaolo, PagoPA and ABILab in Italy and Greiðsluveitan in Iceland. A couple of merchants have signed up to test the solution, including Germany’s REWE Group and Norway’s Elkjøp.
“For the EU digital ID wallet to thrive, it needs a reference implementation that sets the bar high,” explained the consortium’s Project Manager, Tor Alvik. “The consortium has all the ingredients for success: multi-nation participation; extensive digital identity experience; a hugely compelling use case and the backing of the best in the banking and payments industry.”
Outside of his work leading the consortium, Arvik is the director of the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment in Oslo.
While the pilot will be focused on payments, digital identity is at its heart, with Latvia’s Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Artūrs Toms Plešs, explaining that the “digital ID wallet” will “improve our access to highly reliable and secure electronic identity attributes and will build upon the ongoing progress with the addition of new commercial services to the range of national e-identification platforms.”
Further details about the pilot, including its security components, have not yet been revealed, though the involvement of iProov may be telling. The company is well known as a specialist in selfie-based biometric onboarding, and emphasized its technology’s potential to enrol citizens in the EU Digital Identity Wallet when iProov obtained “Level of Assurance High” eIDAS certification earlier this year.