How to integrate eID authentication in your business

Over the years, an increasing number of countries have adopted eID as a way for citizens to verify themselves online. Your customers’ eID is perhaps the most reliable way for them to prove their identity in various business contexts.

But how can your company best capitalize on the eID trend and integrate digital IDs into your customer journeys?

What are eIDs?

A person’s eID (or “digital ID”) is an electronic method of claiming their identity in an online context. This could be relevant when dealing with government services, financial institutions, or any other business that requires personal identification.

It’s typically the government and banks that are responsible for creating and maintaining the infrastructure necessary to enable eIDs in a given country. Each country has its own form of national eID that allows its citizens to digitally interact with authorities and organizations.

In recent years, eIDs have become instrumental in helping banks and other financial institutions fulfill their “Know Your Customer” (KYC) obligations. The entire KYC process revolves around verifying your customer’s identity, so eIDs make this easier, more centralized, and more secure.

Benefits of eIDs for businesses

For government agencies, using eIDs is critical in order to provide services to a citizen. After all, they require a foolproof way of establishing that the person is whom they claim to be.

But even regular companies can often benefit from allowing users to log in using their digital IDs.

Enabling eIDs within your business has the following benefits:

  1. Simplified customer journey. Instead of forcing website visitors to verify themselves using other means—e.g. scanning ID documents and filling out detailed forms—companies can allow them to use their existing eID to do the same. This greatly reduces friction and the risk of visitors abandoning their user journey.
  1. Ease of integration. Additionally, companies also benefit by plugging into the existing eID ecosystem instead of developing their own methods and processes from scratch. This frees up developer resources to focus on more valuable business priorities.
  1. Improved trust. Relying on government/bank-maintained digital IDs helps to put your customers at ease. As such, merely highlighting your integration with established eIDs serves to earn customer trust and improve your brand reputation.
  1. Reduced risk of fraud. A person’s national eID is highly secure. Using such digital identity methods can greatly reduce the risk of fraud or different forms of identity theft. If your business relies on accurately establishing a person’s identity (e.g. banks or insurance companies), using eIDs is a no-brainer.
  1. Regulatory compliance. Regulations surrounding the use and storage of sensitive personal information have been getting increasingly stringent (e.g. GDPR). Integrating government-backed eIDs into your workflow helps you ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

Regulations surrounding the use and storage of sensitive personal information have been getting increasingly stringent (e.g. GDPR). Integrating government-backed eIDs into your workflow helps you ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

How to integrate national eIDs into your business

So how do you start accepting people’s eIDs within your online setup? Broadly speaking, you have two options:

Do it yourself 

The do-it-yourself option may be relevant for companies with the necessary know-how and IT departments. It involves integrating with the necessary (and proprietary) APIs from national eID providers and building a secure login process around them.

Note that because of their unique nature, you’d likely have to adjust the process for each country’s eID. Have a look at this list of eID schemes in Europe to find the relevant country and learn more about incorporating their digital identity protocols in your company.

There are some downsides and limitations to going the DIY route. First, it isn’t even always possible to integrate with a national eID without the use of a third-party broker at all.  Second, developing your own integrations means hiring, training, and retaining additional full-time employees. Finally, your company will also run the sole legal risk of complying with relevant laws and regulations.

All in all, the DIY approach isn’t always the best choice for most companies. It’s time-consuming, resource-intensive, and places the burden of ensuring compliance squarely on your company. Instead, it makes more sense to tap into an existing eID provider.

Third-party eID solutions

The alternative to setting up eID integration on your own is using a third-party digital ID solution. There are many benefits to doing this:

Implementation speed: Most eID providers let you start accepting national eIDs shortly after you sign up. (In the case of Criipto Verify, within just a few hours.)

Ease of setup: Third-party providers are focused on making the setup process as painless as possible, often via plug-and-play APIs.

All-in-one: By using an eID platform, you get access to a broad range of national eIDs within the same solution. No need to configure separate protocols for every country you want to operate in.

Compliance: Using a specialist guarantees compliance with any national laws and regulations.

Necessity: In some countries (e.g. Denmark’s MitID), you’re only allowed to integrate national eIDs via an approved broker. This means that a DIY option isn’t possible in the first place.

The exact process of integrating e-IDs will differ depending on your chosen provider. But in general, it’s a matter of adding a few preset code snippets to your website or application.

Using Criipto Verify to integrate eIDs in your company

In Criipto, we’ve developed a product that helps companies integrate eIDs into their business. It’s called Criipto Verify and it lets you start authenticating eIDs without a complex internal setup.

Criipto Verify works across most European countries with established national eIDs. We’re continuously expanding to include any emerging eIDs. All you’ll need to do to get started is:

Sign up for a Criipto account

  • Create a “Tenant” / “Organization” (basically your unique, secure workspace within Criipto)
  • Define the domain you’ll use for the Criipto Verify service
  • Register the application you want to use Criipto Verify for
  • That’s it!

From this point on, you can freely configure and use Criipto Verify within your site or application

If you want to try Criipto Verify in your company, you can sign up for a free trial. 

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