An identity fairytale from fantasyland

An identity fairytale from fantasyland

Once upon a time, in a country up North, John had finally decided to buy a new camera, and needed to pay for this. He logged into his bank, and he used BankID to authenticate himself. Within a few seconds the bank recognized John. Of course, John realized that he does not have sufficient funds for this camera (the Sony A9 is not cheap), and needs to borrow the money. He runs through the wizard, enters the amount and the payback time, and then gets a loan contract to sign. The loan contract is signed digitally, using BankID. And immediately he has the money on his account and he can pay for the camera. Again, this payment is authorized using BankID.

Later the same day, John realized that he was running out of his blood pressure medication, and had to get some more. But he couldn’t remember if the last prescription was still valid. So he logged into the government health portal, again using his BankID, and found that indeed, the prescription was still valid, so no need to bother the doctor to have it renewed. John walked down to the pharmacy on the corner, and identified himself with his driver’s license, and got another dose of the medication. As the pharmacy is electronically connected to the central prescription database, the good old paper prescriptions, with the doctor’s unintelligible handwriting are long since history.

Later that night, John had to do his taxes (good thing he got more blood pressure medication), and went to the government portal. Of course again, he used his BankID to log in, and he could then update the tax report, before submitting it.

Verify identity by using BankID

A few days later, John’s camera arrived in the post, and he realized that he should take out insurance. So he logs into his insurance company. Guess what, he uses BankID to identify himself, and adds the camera to his insurance. He also decides that he wants to sell his old camera, and goes to the C2C platform He creates an account, and is asked if he wants to be a verified seller. Of course he wants to, and guess what. Again, BankID is used to verify his identity.

(And if John wants to open a new bank account, with another bank, he can use BankID, and his identity is verified. No need to visit a branch. No need to provide additional information. Easy and simple).

Quite a fairytale, right? Well, actually no. The fantasyland I’m describing is Norway, but Sweden, Denmark and Finland, and let’s not forget Estonia, are all on the same page. In these countries, the same digital identity can be used for more and more purposes. It all started with banks. But these days it is used for government, health, insurance and others.

At Signicat we had our first customer on our BankID cloud-service back in 2007. With 10 years of experience in the Digital Identity space we find it our call to spread the fairytale message to rest of the world.

Blogpost by: John Erik Setsaas, Identity Architect
Twitter: @jsetsaas

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Posted in Blog.