Dutch interbank digital identity service announced

  • Gijs Burgers Vincent Jansen
  • Digital identityArticleEnglish content

Dutch banks have announced to launch pilots for their new Bank identification service. The pilots are set to start in the beginning of 2016. After this pilot the service will enable any consumer with an online banking account in the Netherlands to login to commercial and government service providers’ websites without the need of maintaining multiple accounts.

The service is based on the user experience and technology of the hugely popular Dutch payment product “iDEAL”. The service will offer 2 main services that always require the explicit consent of the consumer:

  • to allow identification and authentication of a consumer based on credentials issued by a consumer bank
  • to provide verified personal attributes of an authenticated consumer from the bank’s administration

“So what?”. For consumers, web merchants, governments and banks it means a significant step forward. Since almost every consumer in the Netherlands has access to online banking, the new service will almost have full reach within the Dutch market. This makes it instantly attractive for commercial and government service providers.

For consumers, in addition to maintaining just a single set of credentials instead of having your credentials scattered amongst several parties, the new service can mean a more advanced shield for sensitive data. Take for instance a phone bill: most providers offer online insight on who called and who was called at what day and for how long. Data like this is often only shielded by a username and password. This new service can introduce an extra security layer for these applications.

For the service providers, the new service can mean that consumers do not have to fill out forms required to sign up for an account. Even if a consumer has never visited a website before he will be able to login instantly. This means conversion processes can be optimised further, leading to higher revenues.

The service can also decrease costs made for Customer Due Dilligence (CDD) and (credit) risk assessments because the bank verification greatly raises the trustworthiness of acquired information. Since persons can be identified and authenticated with a high level of assurance, there is no (or at least less) need for additional checking of information with risk- or credit databases. For any company with online services that needs to comply with Anti-Money Laundering regulation or that trades in age-sensitive goods, this service might be a real cost and risk saver.

For government organisations the service will be interesting too. With the reach and level of assurance that it can provide, it can form a valuable addition to the Dutch government’s Idensys scheme.

For the banking sector in the rest of Europe, but also the rest of the world, this new service might be taken as an inspiration to develop new interbank identification and authentication products.

For the cooperating Dutch banks behind this service it means a new way to leverage existing capabilities while gaining more relevance and visibility with their customers. The logical next steps for the cooperating banks, probably inspired by the comparable Scandinavian examples like BankID (Norway, Sweden) and Tupas (Finland), could include other comparable services: services like signing/contracting or the provisioning of additional attributes.

So, although the announced service is just about to start pilots with an insurance company and the Dutch tax authority, there seems much to gain for the entire Dutch online sector and although no specifics are clear yet on the propositions of banks involved, it is almost certain that the introduction of this service will lead to significant cost savings.

Innopay congratulates all involved parties with the result of this collaborative innovation!

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