Electronic identification in mobile phones soon a reality

The new solution, based on an international standard, is based on an electronic identification tied to the SIM card in a mobile phone. The e-ID is issued by banks or other authorized issuers of electronic IDs. The solution enables the secure identification of a person through his/her mobile phone, allowing people in the future to do their banking business, file their tax forms or even vote over a mobile phone, among other applications.

The owners of BankID (Danske Bank Sweden, FöreningsSparbanken, Handelsbanken, Ikanobanken, Länsförsäkringar Bank and SkandiaBanken), TeliaSonera Sweden, Ericsson and others have agreed on a common standard for secure use of electronic identification in a mobile phone. The first tests with the new standard are expected to take place during the second half of 2005.

The participating banks and companies are now establishing a non-profit association that will be responsible for maintaining and further developing the standard. Another goal is to work for widespread use of the solution by other companies and markets and to get it accepted as a global standard. The specifications for the solution are published on www.wpki.net

The technology for electronic IDs has been available for a number of years but this is the first time in the world that banks and mobile operators have agreed on a standard for electronic identification in a mobile phone.