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EU digital identity

EU digital identity

​​​​​ESBG welcomes development of EU Digital ID Scheme (EUID), provides ideas to further unleash cross-border transaction activity

>> See related conslutation response

BRUSSELS, 9 October 2022 – ESBG stands ready to further engage on electronic identity (e-ID), the association said on 2 October in its European Commission conslutation response on the topic.  

The body representing 885 savings and retail banks in 21 countries welcomes the objective to facilitate the cross-border use of electronic identification based on eIDAS. An optimal implementation of e-ID solutions in Europe could only be reached by directly involving the relevant industries, ensuring the participation of the private sector at par with the public sector. ESBG notes in its response that it would support an EUid solution, provided that it respects the actual eIDAS levels of assurance; it is not mandatory; it is not exclusive.

ESBG considers the current regulatory, supervisory, and technological fragmentation of cross-border electronic identities across member states highly disadvantageous for the European Union, both in terms of operational and regulatory requirements. Additionally, the identification requirements of European consumers in digital channels differ vastly between member states, it commented, which it sees created a fragmented and ineffective EU-wide market environment.

It adds that the scope of the eIDAS Regulation should be extended to provide a level playing field for the private economic actors operating in the field of electronic identification. Policymaker would improve the implementation of eIDAS Regulation by introducing to items. First, new private sector digital identity trust services for identification, authentication and provision of attributes;

Second, ESBG sees need for an obligation for the public sector to recognise attributes, credentials, and attestations issued in electronic form by trust service providers and public authorities registered as authoritative sources.

Boosting eIDAS Regulation implementation could happen if the public sector would accept e-signature as equal in all governmental processes to written signature. It also recommends that eID providers of private sector should be accepted in public sector processes according to their trust level.

Unleashing cross-border transactions

The provision of interoperable e-identity tools will boost cross-border transactions, paving the road for an EU Single Digital Market. At the same time, ESBG finds it important to build on already existing knowledge and best practices, they note,  rather than requiring the development of new solutions from scratch. For instance, in some parts of Europe, already existing efficient solutions and well-established routines at a national level should be protected and taken into account by the regulator.

ESBG members argue that it would be important for the European Union to empower its financial institutions with abilities to identify customers through digital means. In fact, by leveraging all the verified data they already manage, banks have already proven to be reliable e-ID providers for a wide variety of purposes including for government purposes. If banks could offer e-ID schemes to access banking services online or act as identity provider for others. That could be achieved by banks being part of a federation of identity providers or under a scheme for instance where required by their customers or by a public authority. Such a scheme could further strengthen the internal market through increased cross-border mobility.

​ESBG and its member banks stand ready to further engage with the Commission on these strategic issues in the weeks and months to come.​

>> See conslutation response​​

Digitalisation; Innovation; European Institutions