Editorial

Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 1 June 2021 by

Philippines

More than 2.4 million unbanked registrants to the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) national digital ID have signed up for LandBank transaction accounts as of April 30, 2021, according to The Manila Times via Biometric Update.

LandBank confirmed the 2.4 million individuals opened an account with them by using their new PhilID as proof of identity. The bank also added that 850,875 of them have also already received their LandBank Agent Banking Cards (ABCs).

“LandBank is one with the national government’s financial inclusion agenda,” commented LandBank president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo.

Borromeo said that in partnership with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), it was focused on opening accounts for up to eight million low-income, unbanked individuals from the 32 PhilSys priority provinces.

More than 800,000 Filipinos have already successfully registered with the new online registration system for step 1 of PhilSys, according to a separate statement issued by PSA. Biometrics are added to the national digital ID record in step 2.

Germany

Germany is vowing to make electronic identification easier and more efficient.

In the future German citizens will be able to access government services by mobile phone in combination with an existing identity card.

The government has promised that about 575 services will be digitised under the new system, which was passed into law by the Bundestag.

Says The Guardian: “The expectation is for less bureaucracy and greater efficiency in a country that lags far behind neighbours such as Denmark or Estonia in digitising government bodies. Advocates hope the new law will help Germany move away from its reputation for being ‘digitalscheu’ – digitally shy – expressed best in its heavy dependence on cash, pen and paper, and even fax machines.”

Slovenia

A digital green certificate proving a person has been vaccinated, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19 will be available to Slovenian residents no later than at the end of June, the Government Communication Office (UKOM) has said.

To receive the digital document, which should facilitate safe travel within the EU, a person will have to have SMSPass mobile identity or a digital certificate.

The document will be created as part of the eHealth system on the basis of data from the central register of data about patients, and available on the zVEM portal.

Healthcare providers which have access to the central register will be able to access it alongside authorised staff at the National Institute of Public Health, who could issue the digital document upon request.

Europe

The European Union has moved another step closer to reviving free movement after reaching a provisional consensus on an EU COVID travel pass.

The European Parliament and Council will now look to formalise the proposed legislation.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC), previously called the Digital Green Certificate, will allow for travel restrictions to lift across all 27 member states – and will be available for specific non-EU countries, too.

It will consist of information about an individual’s vaccination, test and/or recovery status in regard to COVID-19. Formulated as a QR code, the person travelling can choose to carry either a digital or paper-based certificate.

The regulation will come into force on July 1 and will have a six-week phasing-in period for any member states that need more time.

Australia

The Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) has reached three million registrations of its mobile driver’s licence within the Service NSW app, which is 53 percent of all licence holders.

The state launched its digital driver’s licences to public availability in late-2019, and it was granted the same legal status as a physical driver’s license last September, though licence-holders are encouraged to carry their physical license as a backup, and efforts to extend its use beyond police and licensed venues have struggled. The DDL surpassed 30 percent of NSW drivers last October.

The Service NSW app has been downloaded by five million people in total.

Saudi Arabia

A digital driver’s licence has been launched in Saudi Arabia, through a partnership between the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority and the Interior Ministry, along with a digital version of the Muqeem resident ID, Arab News reports via Biometric Update.

The mDL is available through the Interior Ministry’s Absher Individuals and Tawakkalna apps. An offline version is available for download, and ID details can be viewed through a QR code.

Austria

A pilot of Austria’s digital ID is launching in several cities under a pilot by the Federal Ministry for Digitization and Business Location that includes 200 different applications, according to Mayor of Europe.

Registration for the ID Austria credential requires an onboarding process with fingerprint or face biometrics through a smartphone, and the user must install the ‘Digitales Amt’ or ‘Handy-Signature’ app. The mobile phone-based digital ID can be used for electronic signatures and access to online applications, and citizens using it for civil applications will be given a 40 percent discount on fees.

The test is scheduled to conclude in autumn of 2021, followed by general availability.

Pakistan

Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has launched a system for Pakistani ex-patriots to obtain documentation for inheritance through biometric verification, according to an announcement from the country’s High Commission in London and reported by the Associated Press of Pakistan.

Biometric Update says legal heirs can go through a five-step process operated by NADRA’s Succession Facilitation Units, avoiding what had often been a lengthy procedure involving the country’s court system, according to the report.

Malaysia

The National Registration Department (JPN) of Malaysia has launched an online system known as JPN eServices to enable people to register births, retrieve birth records, apply for MyKad and register marriage, among other services.

The Edge Markets reports that the country had signed up 30 million people for its National Digital Identity initiative as of March, as the country digitizes a growing range of services.

“The Digital ID would serve as a Verifiable Platform of Trust that would benefit the private and public sectors for identification purposes when online digital transactions are performed,” said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s government has signed an agreement with AzPul LLC, a non-bank credit organisation, to identify clients online with biometrics to secure small loans.

The agreement with the institution was signed by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies’ Data Processing Center. A Ministry announcement noted face biometrics will be used to generate an electronic signature to secure digital transactions.

The Ministry reportedly emphasised the efficiency and security of the automated processes and said the proposed solution can be used in both the public and private sectors.

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