Interview with an expert:
BankID’s Mattias Rohmée
on European Digital Identity

We recently released our eBook about the EU’s ongoing project around a European Digital Identity and a huge contributor to the book was Mattias Rohmée, Strategy & Business Development at BankID. We conducted an interview with him, from which many of the eBook’s points were drawn but we also wanted to present the interview in full to offer an in-depth look into the topic.

What are the biggest opportunities the European Digital Identity project provides /

What are you most excited about around the European Digital Identity?

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be a part of building new digital ecosystems in countries across Europe. Simplifying everyday life for citizens across member states, as we have done for most of Sweden’s population where BankID is used several times every day by the average user.

A secure authentication without the hassle of remembering passwords has provided us with a very high customer satisfaction (NPS score of 74) and a vital part of the digital society where 90% of Swedes regard BankID as one of the most important apps on their smartphone.

The harmonisation and wide availability of digital IDs across the EU has the potential to:

  • vastly increase the scope of use cases beyond what is offered today
  • level the technical playing field for citizens and make services available for all
  • substantially expand the scope of cross-border digital services (beyond identification and payments), and enable countries lacking existing digital ID implementations, or having less adopted/successful ones, to leapfrog.”

What are the biggest challenges for the European Digital Identity / What could stop it from being successful?

“There’s no lack of ambition and the timeline is aggressive, so execution needs to be spot-on for a successful roll-out and user adoption. Delivering both a secure and user-friendly service to end user is key.

To get the countries with successful eID implementations on-board there needs to be an opportunity for actors to exists in the ecosystem with a sustainable business model. To get users of said countries onboard, the onboarding process can’t be too cumbersome even if this should be performed on the highest Level of Assurance, otherwise adoption will be lacking. From our perspective, BankID has a good option for how this could be carried out.

Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that governance and customer identification is on-par throughout the region to get wide-spread trust and acceptance of the wallet and make it competitive with existing national alternatives.

Lastly, this will only be successful if it achieves true interoperability between the members states, and this is, as of now, unknown territory. Most actors we meet are optimistic regarding this project, but there are ongoing developments of national schemas, primarily from private actors, which focus solely on national scope throughout Europe from non-believers.

Why do you think the project will be successful?

“There is a strong customer demand, people want secure ways of consuming digital services across country borders. The EU Commission is highly committed to the idea that large-scale private actors, which resides outside of EU, should not be allowed to, in a unregulated way, control and capitalize on the European Digital Identity market and the data of its citizens.

Therefore, sizeable budgets have been allocated and governmental, as well as global private sector players, have committed their interest to this project – the fundamental building blocks are starting to take form and we’re closing in on pilot start date now. Also standardisation will create a more stable and mature base for digital identities and the industry that operate in this space.  “

What role will BankID play in rolling this out across Europe? 

“In general, we want to be part of building new digital ecosystems throughout Europe and also globally. We believe we have a great know-how and abilities, as shown by the size of our transaction volumes, growth and customer success, to truly boost the development of the digital identity market.

Regarding the EUDI Wallet specifically, BankID is participating in two consortia, EUDI Wallet Consortium (EWC) and Digital Credentials for Europe (DC4EU), which are each implementing a pilot project for the EU Digital Identity Wallet, where BankID will have the role of the EUDI Wallet and PID issuer. The aim is to guarantee use cases, security and interoperability in the future development of the European Digital Identity Wallet. We are convinced that we can contribute with our vast experience of more than 20 years in the business and proven track record. And we are honoured to participate in making EU more digitally accessible to its’ citizens, whilst keeping high security levels and availability of the service.

Having said that, our product is very much tailored for the Bank & Finance-sector with our AML/Fraud-offering, it is going to be interesting to see if the same level of functionality can be provided to these types of stakeholders with the EUDI Wallet. “

What misconceptions do people have about this project?

“One misconception we hear a lot is that the outcome is binary, meaning that it will be either a success or a failure.

The mindset has already shifted throughout the entire landscape for actors and consumers. Enough pieces of the puzzle have been set into motion, and the EUDI Wallet LSP (Large-Scale Pilots) projects will facilitate experiments and provide lessons learned for the participants and observers. All these factors will move us towards achieving cross-border interoperability, and as a result – the future outcome seems fairly set; a solution will come. However, the jury is still out as to whether all this will take place within the context of eIDAS 2.0 or not.

With that said, we’re very excited to be part of two Large-Scale Pilots for the EUDI Wallet and to provide experience and expertise from 20 years of delivering secure eID services and tens of billions of transactions.”

We’d like to once again thank Mattias Rohmée for his participation in this project and in case you haven’t already read our eBook, you can download it here.