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  • Thierry Spanjaard

When Europe exports its identity values

Trustech, the event dedicated to payments, identification and security, is back to Paris after a couple years under the sun of the Mediterranean. People who count in our industry are happy to have the opportunity to meet again and see changes in positions and corporations of their acquaintances.

Interestingly, the eID segment is taking an always increasing place in our industry. While Cartes was centered around the card industry and the first editions of Trustech were very much payment oriented, the core topic of interest this year is identity. This shows both on the exhibitor floor and through the conference program.

Government ID industry is maturing, and concepts that have been put forward for years by our industry are now meeting the concerns of leading decision makers: the governments.

At the same time, convergence is now imperative for platforms that deal with identity and signature, bringing a trusted base for payment systems. Increasingly, technologies are common between the Identity and payment segments.

Financial institutions are increasingly using remote eID systems as physical contact is shrinking with the reduction of bank branches. Banks are increasingly relying of existing ID infrastructures to build their own customer relationship. In addition, the legal environment is pushing in the same direction with remote enrolment needs, KYC, etc.…

European authorities get into the picture too, and are pushing for more convergence. After years of regulating the payment industry, the European Commission is now working on the Digital ID framework that will be based on European values: every citizen has the right to obtain a digital identity free of charge, European citizen rights are across Europe, and privacy is central in the project, as citizens remains in control of their identity, be it global or partial.

Europe is increasingly in a role where it disseminates its values to the rest of the world. Major examples are already well known: principles of GDPR, of the PSD2 and of other regulations are increasingly adopted in the rest of the world. Today in Trustech conference, it was clear that non-EU members such as Moldavia and Norway are ready to adopt the European digital ID framework. More remote players including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more are considering adopting the same set of values.

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