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The story of BankID

No digital life without BankID

BankID can unlock anything that requires a key (at least on the internet). What our customers have in common is a desire to make things simpler, safer, more secure and more accessible by using BankID.

BankID is a multipurpose eID and eSignature scheme which originated in Norway. It is based on one common centralized Public Key Infrastructure and complies with the highest standards for security and levels of assurance within the framework of the European eIDAS and underlying ETSI standards, and qualifies as Strong Customer Authentication in the PSD2 framework.

Today it is used by almost 100 percent of the Norwegian population over the age of 20 to access thousands of private and public services - making it one of the most successful digital identity solutions in the world.

Norwegians use BankID on average 173 times per year to perform a wide variety of tasks digitally, such as filing tax returns, accessing and sharing medical or student records, performing payments, signing loan agreements, and even authenticating profiles in dating apps.

As a result of its track record of providing the highest possible security with multi-factor authentication, surveys conducted in 2019 showed that 90 percent of the population are content with BankID and trust BankID as a service. This high trust level and reputation for easy usability has enabled banks, businesses and public sector organisations to launch new digital services, create fast adoption and broad usage of these services, and ensure the easy integration of third parties.

BankID drives the digitization of Norwegian society

BankID is offered free of charge to citizens, and on commercial terms to service providers in both the private and public sectors. Distribution to service providers is managed through a network of resellers, ensuring the long-term value and relevance of our eID and eSignature through the bundling and integration of complementary, value-adding services. This distribution model and multipurpose approach has contributed to making Norway one of the most digitized societies on the planet according to Digital Planet in 2017 and the International Digital Economy and Society Index in 2018.

The widespread adoption and use of BankID started with online banking, and this has enabled Norwegian banks to digitize much faster than many of their international peers. The digitization of banking has contributed to large productivity gains and lower costs in the sector. In 2018, the cost/income ratio in Norwegian banks was on average 45.9% (Finance Norway), while the average for the European Union is 64.6% (Statista).

The public sector in Norway is highly regarded in terms of digitization and online accessibility. Today around 90 percent of Norwegian people choose to use BankID instead of competing eIDs when they access public services including health, tax, and municipal services.

What can we learn from the BankID story?

Banks are well positioned to succeed with digital identity and trust services, and can benefit enormously from their success, driving digital self-service, cost efficiency, increased conversion and new value propositions and revenues - placing banks at the center of the trust market.

In order to succeed, eIDs should be viewed as important infrastructure for banks, and not on competitive grounds with them. Norway shows that the true benefits of a digital identity for banks and society at large will only come to fruition once the digital identity is multipurpose, reaching a critical mass of adoption across both the public and private sectors. This has sparked a close relationship between the Government and banking sector in Norway, with mutual data-sharing with the consent of the customer, to ensure more convenient and effective processes.

However, breaking from today´s fragmented approach requires collaboration and mutual trust between the banks, ensuring one strongly trusted brand, one channel or app, one user experience, and a strong control of risk.