Biometric registration coming to the Baltics' Smart-ID
27 February 2020 08:16 GMT

SK ID Solutions has created a new biometric registration method for Smart-ID, which enables those who do not have access to other electronic authentication tools to create a Smart-ID account without having to visit a bank branch.

As a result, users can use a secure electronic identity solution that enables them to authenticate their identity and to give digital signatures that are equivalent to handwritten signatures.

If up until now, Smart-ID accounts could only be created via a physical identification in a bank branch or via Mobile-ID or ID-card, then now, SK ID Solutions has added another option to the list – biometric identification. The new identification method has been through an international audit and has been approved by the Information System Authority. This new solution for creating an account is quite innovative in different regards. First, because of the fact that the whole biometric identification process has been automated. And second, thanks to this automation, the process of signing up only takes a couple of minutes.

“Over the following months, tens of thousands of people have to update their Smart-ID accounts since they are turning three years old. Thanks to the new biometric identification, they can now also do that by using their biometric passports AKA even in situations where they do not have access to other forms of identification or are simply unable to visit a bank branch for this. This is also good news to the more than one million Smart-ID users in Latvia and Lithuania who can now upgrade their Smart-ID Basic account into a qualified electronic signature tool in just a couple of minutes,” said the CEO of SK ID Solutions, Kalev Pihl.

According to Pihl, SK revealed the new registration method on yesterday afternoon and they are calling all Smart-ID users to try the new solution for themselves, “For Smart-ID, biometric identification is a brand new solution and because of this, it is possible that some things will not work quite as smoothly as they should just yet. We are constantly working on improving our service and we are very grateful for any kind of feedback from our users.”

The new addition to the Smart-ID services was created as a result of the cooperation between multiple international companies. In addition to SK ID Solutions, InnoValor from the Netherlands and iProov from the UK were also involved in the development process and the project was evaluated by TÜV Informationstechnik GmbH from Germany.

 “This new application combines the NFC capabilities of smartphones and biometric passports and identity cards to create the best user experience as well as optimal security. We are proud to have our mobile identity verification solution ReadID inside SK’s breakthrough Smart-ID solution. Using NFC, we can remotely determine the authenticity of the identity document at the trust level that is needed for qualified signatures. In addition, the high-resolution face-image from the chip enables secure facial matching,” said Maarten Wegdam, CEO of InnoValor.

Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO, iProov: "We are delighted to be a core part of this ground-breaking solution, and to have passed the rigorous certification to EN 319-401, perhaps the most demanding civil conformance standard in the world. iProov brings cloud, machine learning and biometrics to the eIDAS world for the very first time."

“Innovative solutions are not solely created by huge companies. If small technology companies work together and contribute their technologies to a project in the name of a common goal, then the result can be hugely innovative. This is what happened in our case – we put the smart solutions of three companies into one service, thus creating a unique biometric identification solution,” said Pihl.

To be able to use biometric identification, a user must have previously used Smart-ID, their phone must have the latest version of the Smart-ID app, a working camera and support NFC, and the user must own a biometric passport. If all of these requirements are met, then the process of biometric identification, which involves seven simple steps and a few minutes, can begin.

SK ID Solutions first introduced Smart-ID in 2017 and today, it is being used by more than 2,6 million people. Smart-ID is available in all three Baltic states and can be used in more than 200 e-services.

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