How to integrate e-ID in your business

Over the years, an increasing number of countries have adopted e-ID as a way for citizens to verify themselves online. Your customers’ e-ID 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 e-ID trend and integrate digital IDs in your customer journeys?

What are e-IDs?

A person’s e-ID (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 e-IDs in a given country. Each country has its own form of national e-ID that allows its citizens to digitally interact with authorities and organizations.

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In recent years, e-IDs 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 e-IDs make this easier, more centralized, and more secure.

 

Benefits of e-IDs for businesses

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

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

Enabling e-IDs 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 e-ID to do the same. This greatly reduces friction and the risk of visitors abandoning their user journey.

2. Ease of integration

Additionally, companies also benefit by plugging into the existing e-ID ecosystem instead of developing their own methods and processes from scratch. This frees up developer resources to focus on more valuable business priorities.

3. Improved trust

Relying on government/bank-maintained digital IDs helps to put your customers at ease. As such, merely highlighting your integration with established e-IDs serves to earn customer trust and improve your brand reputation.

4. Reduced risk of fraud

A person’s national e-ID 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 e-IDs is a no-brainer.

5. Regulatory compliance

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

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How to integrate national e-IDs in your business

 

So how do you start accepting people’s e-IDs within your online setup? 

Broadly speaking, you have two options:

DIY

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 e-ID 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 e-ID. Have a look at this list of e-ID 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 of going the DIY route. First, it isn’t even always possible to integrate with a national e-ID 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 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 e-ID provider.

Third-party e-ID solutions

The alternative to setting up e-ID integration on your own is using a third-party digital ID solution.

There are many benefits to doing this:

    • Implementation speed: Most e-ID providers let you start accepting national e-IDs 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 e-ID platform, you get access to a broad range of national e-IDs 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 e-IDs 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 e-IDs in your company

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

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

  1. Sign up for a Criipto account
  2. Create a “Tenant” / “Organization” (basically your unique, secure workspace within Criipto)
  3. Define the domain you’ll use for the Criipto Verify service
  4. 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.