The European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG) welcomes the intention to remove fragmentation and to build a harmonised legal framework across Europe, recognising the role of Member States as providers of the European Digital Identity Wallet.

BRUSSELS, 15 June 2021 – ESBG welcomes the intention of the European Commission (EC) to end the current regulatory and technological fragmentation of electronic identification across EU Member States,  as announced on 3 June, with the creation of a regulatory framework for a European Digital Identity.

The proposed harmonisation would help correct some of the shortcomings of the current eIDAS Regulation, whose partial (only public services are included) and heterogeneous adoption by Member States resulted in a highly underutilised ecosystem in the Union, particularly for cross-border access to services.

“The ESBG and its members welcome the Commission’s proposal and believe that it can contribute to the further integration of the European Union. We look forward to the coming discussions in both Parliament and the Council”, said Andreas Widegren the Chair of the ESBG FinTech Regulation Committee and Swedbank’s Senior Manager.

ESBG also supports the EC’s aim to ensure that at least 80% of EU citizens get access to digital ID solutions by 2030. Today, only 59% of EU citizens have access to trusted and secure eID schemes across borders.

The new proposal not only extends the eIDAS but it also puts forward an ambitious, interoperable EU-wide scheme centered around Digital Identity Wallets, to be issued by Member States as providers of legal identity.

A key factor will be the involvement of the private sector in the creation of the Trust Scheme, in a “process for close and structured cooperation”, as referred in recital 36 of the Regulation proposed by the Commission.

ESBG calls for the specificities of the financial sector to be taken into account in this involvement. As relying parties, banks should be aware of the chain of trust in data sharing, including all the actors involved.

ESBG is also in close collaboration with the other European Credit Sector Associations, in the context of the Inter-ECSA eID Task Force, which brings together experts from 36 financial institutions with the goal of expressing a common position for the whole sector. ESBG, together with the ECSAs, stands ready to further engage on the strategic issue of digital identity with the Commission, EU co-legislators and a wide range of stakeholders both at European and national level.