Editorial

Digital ID apps set to surge

Digital identity apps in use to exceed 6.2 billion by 2025, as civic apps drive adoption

Posted 29 October 2020 by

Civic identity apps will drive the number of digital identity apps in use to more than 6.2 billion in 2025 – up from just over a billion in 2020.

The study from Juniper Research has found that found that civic identity apps, where government-issued identities are held in an app, will account for almost 90 percent of digital identity apps installed globally in 2025. This is down to the increasing use of civic identity in emerging markets and the lasting impact of the pandemic.

Indeed, the report notes that the unprecedented shift to digital services during the pandemic across the world will stimulate rapid growth in civic identity. This will grow by 467 percent between 2020 and 2025, as robust onboarding and verification for digital services become vital.

Civic apps to overtake digital identity card use

The report, Digital Identity: Technology Evolution, Regulatory Landscape & Forecasts 2020-2025, found that civic identity apps will overtake the number of digital identity cards in use in 2023, with the number of apps in use 41 percent higher than cards by 2025.

While digital identity cards are still growing, the research shows that apps are much easier to scale, and better support increased involvement in digital commerce, which will be critical to digital identity’s future use.

“Civic identity apps have come into their own as a way to boost digital financial participation, particularly in emerging economies,” said the report’s co-author, Nick Maynard. “Post-pandemic, this capability will be crucial in enabling increased digital engagement.”

Blockchain important to securing identity networks

The research found that blockchain will be important to the future of digital identity, with blockchain-based third-party digital identity apps accounting for 16 percent of all installed third-party identity apps in 2025. However, this is not necessarily the much-lauded self-sovereign model, where numerous parties such as banks, identity providers and mobile network operators work together to provide identity as a part of a wider network. Juniper says that blockchain will be an effective way to secure federated access to data, injecting trust and transparency.