Plans to introduce an EU digital wallet have been in the works since last year, with a target set for pilot projects to begin this September. The EU has been working with member states over the last couple of months to agree a technical framework for the new program and this was high on the agenda to discuss when we caught up with Thales at Identity Week Europe, back in June.

The EU mobile wallet harnesses a set of secure digital identity credentials to verify users whenever it may be required, for example, when opening a bank account, renting a flat, registering a business or making a quick and easy payment. It streamlines verification in one simply solution as opposed to Government, administrations, and businesses leveraging different authentication to provide customers and citizens access to services and data.

“By providing citizens with a secure and convenient means of proving their identity and entitlements via a smartphone, the EDIW will enable smooth and secure interactions between citizens, governments and private businesses,” said Thales’ Identity and Biometric Solutions VP, Youzec Kurp.

While the world is gradually transitioning to digitalised identity, identity documents are still required for many daily tasks such as accessing healthcare. Thales, a vendor that provides ID verification solutions to onboard, verify and authenticate, were excited to share the results of their citizen survey into the proposals for an EU wallet.

In an online survey of 1,835 citizens in 7 EU countries, Thales found that 85% of participants from France and 75% from Italy were most eager to welcome the plans for an EU-backed Digital ID wallet.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “Our European companies, large and small, will also benefit from this digital identity. They will be able to offer a wide range of new services since the proposal offers a solution for secure and trusted identification services.”

Countries in the European Union will be required to rollout eu-wallets and overhaul current verification procedures by 2024.