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National identity schemes for all citizens

National identity schemes such as BankID in the Nordics, Smart-ID in the Baltics, itsme in Belgium and myGovID in Australia all see growing acceptance. Having the ability to use such schemes is essential to truly participate in societies. However, these schemes are often restricted to born citizens. What if you were not born there but, e.g., working as an expat? NFC-based identity verification with ReadID opens your identity scheme to foreign citizens by supporting foreign documents, who can now participate as securely and easily as born nationals.

Growing importance of national ID schemes

All over the world, national identity schemes that allow you to prove who you are online are being successfully introduced. In Australia we have myGovID, in Europe the Nordics widely use BankID, Smart-ID is leading in the Baltics, and Belgian itsme is a big success as well. With these schemes citizens get access to public or private services, can get information on the status of those services, can digitally sign or, for example, pay taxes.

Initially the schemes have focused on born nationals, part of national registrations, that have a social security number or even already have some form of digital identity to re-use. The onboarding process can often tap into some form of national registration. But in the current global society, the scheme should also cater for other audiences: for example, 29% of Australian residents are not from Australia. In the Netherlands this is 26%, and in Germany and Sweden it is about 14%. The case for these foreign-born residents is much more difficult.Australia population graph

Integrating ePassports into the customer journey

A proven way for identity schemes to move beyond the limitations of born nationals and involve the community of residents from other countries is to use the digital identity most people already have: the chip inside their passports or identity cards, which contains their digital identity, given to them in a trustworthy and signed way by their government of the country of origin.

That chip can be read and verified for authenticity remotely by the citizen with ReadID technology to allow trusted identity verification and can be combined with holder (facial) verification through biometrics. Moreover, this can be done without going to any branch, municipality or even any manual interaction. Currently, itsme and MitID, for example, already follow this route to onboard non-born residents into the identity scheme successfully.

ePassports have broad coverage

More than 160 countries worldwide use chipped identity documents following the ICAO Doc 9303 standard. This includes passports, identity cards and residence permits. All of Europe is covered as well as large parts of Africa and the Americas. Foreign-born citizens have travelled to the country so, generally speaking, the majority of them will have a chipped travel document which they can use to onboard to a scheme.

Please note that the use of chipped identity documents should be not limited to foreign-born nationals: it often is used to onboard and reverify born nationals as well, making the solution less dependent on the availability of national infrastructures.

NFC-based identity document verification can be used to onboard both born nationals as well as foreign-born citizens at the same level of trust.

ReadID and identity schemes

ReadID is the leading technology for NFC-based identity document verification. It is used in several identity schemes, including Belgian itsme and Smart-ID in the Baltics. These examples have proven that identity verification can be done fully automated - and thus in a very scalable way -  at the highest level of security and certainty. ReadID has even been component certified for eIDAS eID assurance level high.

With ReadID your identity scheme can onboard the vast majority of your citizens, whether they are born citizens or foreign-born citizens. This can only be done with the security and quality of NFC-based identity verification: optical verification methods for documents are good at capturing information but fail to ensure document authenticity at a sufficient secure level. Video identification might maybe be just a bit harder to spoof but is very costly and does not scale internationally.

Make your identity scheme truly inclusive

We have argued that the growing acceptance and adoption of national identity schemes is a good thing to empower the (digital) society. Scheme authorities should, however, leave nobody behind. Foreign-born nationals form a substantial part of the population. They can easily be included using ReadID for NFC-based identity document verification. Want to see for yourself how this works? Use our free ReadID Me app on Google Play and the App Store, or request a demo from one of our experts.


Try it yourself for free

Interested in NFC-based identity verification? Our free personal app ReadID Me is available in the App and Plays stores. No personal information is shared with Inverid or other parties; it is a client-only verification.

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