Technology and Startups

Digital Identites For Consumers

In this article we will examine what are the new types of digital ids being adopted across the globe and how it will affect consumers.

What Is A Digital ID ?

A digital id is virtual version of identification proof that can be used online. Just like how your driving license and passport are a form of physical id, digital ids can be used on the Internet. A digital id is a cheap, secure and cost-effective way to verify a customers identity online without the need for a face-to-face meeting. Digital ids allow customers to show proof of their online identity for cross-border transactions and access to governmental services.

Financial organisations need to fulfil certain regulatory and governance requirements such as KYC to prevent money laundering and drug financing. Digital ids reduce the cost of this authentication saving time and money for banks and consumers.

huawei digital watch

A digital watch can be used for the authentication of a person’s identity.

Types Of Digital ID’s in Europe

Electronic ID Cards – Estonia offers digital id cards which are shaped to look like a card which contains an electronic chip. This chip contains biometric data and the person using it needs to insert it into the usb drive of his device. Once inserted he can use it to make online transactions, sign documents digitally and even open a bank account in another country!

Digital Passports – Britain is working on rolling out paperless passports. Similar to digital boarding cards, they can be stored in a smartphone and used at any airport. Currently many foreign passports have chips in them that provide data on the user.

But the plan has hit many hurdles such as the security and acceptability. Many countries do not have the infrastructure to accept digital passports and getting it in place all over the world will take many years. There is also the unresolved issue as to how digital forgeries will be prevented.

Blockchain – Many financial services are experimenting with blockchain technology and integrating it into their online platforms. This would help keep the transactions and records secure. Verify – An initiative of the Government of UK, it makes online verification of citizens easy. Through it you can verify your tax returns and information related to other driving licenses.

Recent Developments in Digital Identification

  • The United Nations and World bank have set an ambitious goal of providing a legal id to everyone living on planet Earth (digital or paper based) by 2030.
  • Countries around the world have started issuing digital ids to their citizens. Some of the countries to do so last year were Algeria, Jordan, Italy and Cameroon. Most of these new id systems are based on Bio-metrics.
  • The European Union legislation called eIDAS came into force in July 2016 which makes it mandatory for the 28 EU countries to recognise digital ids issued across its member states by September 2018.
  • Digital Driving licenses are being tested in the United States, United Kingdom and parts of Europe. The technology is still nascent and face a major challenge; how to prevent electronic fraud? Making an user identification system digital makes is an open invitation for unscrupulous hackers.

You can take a look at the complete list of services being transformed from physical to digital in the UK at the link below :

Digital Transformation Program Of The UK Government.


go pro camera

Digital Id Startups

The host of government initiatives for creation of digital id’s has spawned dozens of startups. Two of them which have rolled out great products are featured below:


The company is a pioneer in the Multi Channel ID Authentication and Record Generation.The company offers solutions that combine screening, authentication and conversion of identification documents in to digital format in an automated process. The company is a subsidiary of N.V, one of the leading airport security firms.


IDnow is the top solution being used by next generation banks in Europe. The patented platform provides video identification and e-signing of documents. It is currently being used by Fin-tech and Insur-Tech companies in Europe. The company was nominated for the 2017 European FinTech Awards.

digital id

Getting a digital id for everyone on the planet will be a big business.

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