The launch of the widely anticipated EU digital wallet received official backing from members of the European Parliament, who passed feedback on a proposed update of the digital identity framework with 55 votes to 8.

The premise of the EU’s wallet is to allow each country to develop their own wallet which is interoperable at EU level for exchanging data but adheres to one regulation standard set out in the Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework.

Although a common verification method through the wallet raises some trust, security and privacy concerns, the eID would on the contrary enable citizens to have full autonomy over their data and who it is shared with to authenticate themselves into public services online.

MEPs will also make a special effort to boost data protection provisions, cybersecurity and data ownership.

Compatible with storing personal credentials, as well as being a digital identity credential, the wallet has duel serviceability unlocking user transactions of medical and career records and payments.

Rapporteur Romana Jerkovic (S&D, HR) says digital identity is no longer just a “nice-to-have feature”, but a new enabler of “civic engagement and social empowerment and a tool for an inclusive digital Europe” supplemented by European Digital Identity Framework.

The decisive MEP vote will move to the next stage of entering inter-institutional negotiations, pending formal approval during the 13-16 March plenary session.

Despite the push for data interoperability, the EU wallet will always be voluntary for countries and users whose countries have participating wallets.