Brussels Publishes Pan-EU Digital Wallet Toolbox

February 14, 2023
In preparation for legislation, the European Commission has published the first version of a common EU toolbox for digital identity solutions.

In preparation for legislation, the European Commission has published the first version of a common EU toolbox for digital identity solutions.

Developed by EU member states in collaboration with the commission, this will serve as the basis to create a prototype wallet solution that can be used for testing in a variety of use cases.

The purpose of the document is to provide a set of specifications needed to develop an interoperable European Digital Identity (EUDI) Wallet solution that is based on common standards and practices.

The toolbox will be the first step in enabling the creation of a robust framework for digital identification and authentication based on common standards across the EU, and aims to ensure a high level of trust in digital transactions in Europe.

Member states, meanwhile, will keep working closely with the commission to continuously update the toolbox.

The requirements and specifications set out in the toolbox are not mandatory for member states until the legislative proposal on the EUDI Wallet has been adopted by the co-legislators.

At the same time, the commission is also supporting large-scale pilots, under the Digital Programme, with up to €50m of co-financing to address high-priority use cases for the EUDI Wallet.

The pilots are tipped to start in the first half of 2023, after the commission put out a call for applicants last year.

One of these is the NOBID Consortium, which is being spearheaded by the Nordic-Baltic eID Project.

Unveiled in September 2022, this is a multi-country consortium that has been chosen to deliver a cross-border payments pilot.

Its implementation will leverage existing payment infrastructure to enable payment issuance, instant payments, account-to-account transfers and payment acceptance both in-store and online.

The project is supported by EU payments and banking partners, including DSGV in Germany, DNB and BankID in Norway, Nets in Denmark, Intesa Sanpaolo, PagoPA and ABILab in Italy, and Greiðsluveitan in Iceland.

There are also technology partners participating in the consortium, including Thales, iProov and Signicat, while merchants that will be testing out the payment solution include Elkjøp, an electronics retailer in Norway, and a retail and tourism cooperative called REWE-group, which is based out of Germany.

There is also the POTENTIAL Consortium. This will test six use cases including bank account opening, as well as a mobile driving licence and e-government services.

This will operate across 19 EU member states and Ukraine, which made a formal application to join the trading bloc last year.

Benefiting citizens

The EU hopes that the EUDI Wallet will provide a secure and convenient way for EU citizens and businesses to identify themselves when needed for accessing digital services.

It is envisaged that citizens will be able to carry out tasks such as securely storing and using data for services such as opening a bank account and logging into online platforms.

In addition, the EUDI Wallet will allow citizens to store credentials, such as a mobile driving licence, professional licences, eHealth, or educational credentials.

As reported by VIXIO, EU parliamentarians have now adopted a position, effectively giving their backing to the EU’s plans for a digital wallet solution.

In their amendments, lawmakers who sit on the parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee proposed making the EUDI Wallet a tool that can also read and verify electronic documents and allow for peer-to-peer interactions.

They propose measures to strengthen privacy and cybersecurity, as well as to register all transactions to ensure third parties are held accountable.

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