Multi-country consortium debuts cross-border payments pilot for EU digital wallet

Wednesday 14 September 2022 12:54 CET | News

A multi-country consortium comprising Europe’s most trusted identity experts has announced its proposal to deliver an EU digital wallet pilot.


The proposal comprises the delivery of a large-scale, cross-border payments pilot aligned with the aims of the European Commission’s EU digital identity wallet programme. Six countries (Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia and Norway) are part of the consortium, led by NOBID (Nordic-Baltic eID Project). 

Nordic-Baltic eID project is initiated under the umbrella of the Nordic Council of Ministers. NOBID works to harmonise the eID solutions in eight Nordic and Baltic countries to realize cross-border access to digital services across the region. This collaboration was then extended to collectively adopt the eIDAS regulation.  

Following the announcement of the call to conduct large-scale pilots of the upcoming EU Digital ID Wallet, NOBID has decided to use its existing infrastructure and collaborative platform to form a strong consortium. In this consortium, they also joined forces with some of Europe´s largest economies, Italy and Germany. 

The consortium is being actively supported by leading digital government agencies, banks, enterprises and technology providers and will leverage the mature digital identity infrastructures of the six respective nations. 

A multi-country consortium comprising Europe’s most trusted identity experts has announced its proposal to deliver an EU digital wallet pilot.

The EU digital wallet and what it promises

The EU digital identity wallet is a biometrically-secured app that, when it comes into being, will allow citizens across the continent to easily verify their ID, access public and private services, and store sensitive digital documents in one place. The consortium’s proposal is one of four EU digital identity wallet pilots. 

The consortium’s proposal focuses on payments, one of the top priority use cases in the EU’s digital ID wallet vision. Its implementation would leverage existing payment infrastructure to enable payment issuance, instant payments, account-to-account transfers, and payment acceptance both in-store and online.

Who is backing the initiative?

The digital wallet is designed to also align with the EU plans to empower member states and streamline cross-border payments, such as the European Payments Initiative (EPI) and the Digital Euro. The project has full support from DSGV in Germany, DNB and BankID in Norway, Nets in Denmark, Intesa Sanpaolo, PagoPA and ABILab in Italy and Greiðsluveitan in Iceland. 

Technology partners participating in the consortium include Thales, iProov, Signicat, RB, Auðkenni, IPZS, Poste Italiane, Intesi Group, InfoCert, FBK and Latvian State Radio and Television Centre. Merchants that will be testing out the payment solution include Elkjøp in Norway and REWE-group in Germany.

Digital identity in the participating nations

Denmark has manifested to a digital-first approach and has achieved an eID adoption of more than 90% of their citizens. Millions of citizens access public and private digital services through their eIDs every day. Recently, Denmark has also launched MittID, which is the next generation eiD solution for their citizens. 

In 2008, the Norwegian ID Gateway was launched and serves as the main connecting hub for all electronic IDs and digital services. This gateway serves more than 90% of all citizens and was used 317 million times in 2021, according to the press release. Today, more than 1,000 digital services (public and private) are connected to the ID gateway. Services include applying for school, filing taxes, buying a car, getting married or starting a company. 

Norway is one of the leading countries in digital payments using eID. More than 75% (4.1 million) of Norwegians, for example, use the popular digital payment tool called Vipps. 

In Iceland 95% of the eligible population (13 years or older) has an eID on a smartphone authentication app or has an eID card, including 75% of over 75s. Icelandic eID holders authenticated more than 20 times a month in 2021. eSignature is also widely adopted.  

Digital identity in Italy is currently comprised of two separate solutions: The Public Digital Identity System (SPID), which had 33 million users in September 2022; and the Electronic Identity Card (CIE), used by 30.6 million Italians.  

From 2023, the Law on Identity Documents will provide eID cards as a mandatory identity document for Latvian citizens and non-citizens over the age of 15, while for those living in foreign countries – from 2025.  During the last 15 years, the eSignature was used over 55 million times and has had nearly 350,000 unique users in the 15 years since launch. 

DSGV is the largest banking group in Germany, with more than 510 members represented through more than 15,000 branches, covering the full range of financial needs of retail customers and enterprises. There are more than 49 million active accounts connected to the members of the Savings Banks Association, handling around EUR 3.38 billion in business volume in 2021 alone. 

Through the multibank-mobile app, Sparkasse, DSGV has delivered an advanced solution to citizens wanting to do their banking on a smartphone. 

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Keywords: digital signature, EIDAS, digital identity, digital wallet, e-wallet
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: Europe
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce