EU-based X Infotech, a globally recognised provider of software solutions for issuance and verification of electronic identity documents, digital identity and payment solutions, has taken a leading role in numerous national identity projects around the world in recent years.

The company has developed and implemented eID applications and services in several high-profile projects. For instance, last October X Infotech revealed that it supplied the most advanced and sophisticated end-to-end software system dedicated to ePassport and eID card issuance for the new biometric identity documents for Belarus, where the population reaches 9 million citizens. caught up with Sergey Yeliseyev – Company co-founder and Business development director for government eID – to hear about the latest trends in digital and mobile identity.

In which segment do you expect growth post-COVID 19?

I would say the first market is electronic IDs, and everything related to remote services and distant proof of identity, including the voting programmes. Now as we see everywhere, governments are pushing citizens to do as much as possible remotely without physical contact.

Private organizations are also moving away from their physical offices to remote working, and it’s working fine – the only important aspect is to ensure strong security. Thankfully, our authentication mechanisms can allow people to connect in certain working environments, and continue working without any difference.

What eID trends are you focused on right now?

I am seeing that nations, already issuing or just figuring out the issuance eID cards are already thinking about the next step – which is Mobile ID. This is inevitable as the world is driven by the mobile. Even small children have smartphones nowadays. Mobile devices are constantly being held in hands round-the-day. This sends a strong message that humans won’t give up on mobile devices anymore, and this is seen in the growth of the number of mobile payment activities worldwide. It is not new anymore to identify yourself with the mobile device. But electronic signatures, biometric verification – everything will be moving to mobile platforms.

What challenges does digital identity face at the moment?

The biggest challenge is still there! –Usually, in many counties, different ministries have their own targets and objectives from national identity programmes. Typically The Ministry of the Interior might be responsible for electronic citizen ID because it is an internal document, while The Communication ministry may be responsible for building up the digital government ecosystem.

Meanwhile, Ministries of Health or other ministries are tended to increase their role, being, however, a little suspicious regarding the usage of ID cards. Why? Because it’s seen as ‘their’ project. They want to issue their own cards.

Sometimes an introduction of a new identity programme is moved by the certain minister just to be claimed afterwards as the project brought by the certain ministry and to gain political credits, popularity in trust, without real practical interest to collaborate within the ministries. This raises more challenges than benefits to the national identity development.

In some countries, governments are putting parallel, different biometric databases in place and several API infrastructures. Some have three, four or even more infrastructures for digital signatures. And each department claims its infrastructure as the best.

If talking about Digital ID platforms – the legislation should be settled before the actual implementation of such transformation projects. Not all the nations are ready for this, as we are talking about the brave new world here – a new approach towards proving the identity and protection of personal data. X Infotech PKI-based solutions, for example, provide the highest security level.

And how do you think mobile and digital ID will evolve over the next five years?

The ideal would be for a person to have a certain control on what information is presented to the authorities. If only age information is required by the authority , it should not be mandatory to disclose the complete personal information. . For entering the building, it should be enough to demonstrate access rights at the mobile device, instead of carrying and presenting personal ID. Reaching the ability to give more control to citizens, will be an important moment for identity development and trust of the people In the nearest years we will see the growth of citizen onboarding into digital, identity document equivalents in mobile devices, remote authentication, document signing from mobile phones. And we are looking so much forward to be a technological part of this new world!