In a move to counter global digital wallets offered by Apple, Alphabet unit Google, Thales, and other financial institutions which have raised privacy and data protection concerns in Europe, the European Commission plans to launch home-grown digital identity wallets to allow Europeans to access public and private services.
The use of online services in Europe has swelled many times following the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak last year. The new digital identity wallet “can be used anywhere in the EU to identify and authenticate for access to services in the public and private sectors, allowing citizens to control what data is communicated and how it is used,” a Commission document showed.
The wallet will also enable qualified electronic signatures that can facilitate political participation, the 73-page document said. The adoption of an electronic wallet could also generate as much as 9.6 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in benefits for the EU and create as many as 27,000 jobs over a five-year period, the document said.
By reducing emissions related to public services, the e-wallet could also have a positive environmental impact, the document said. Currently, 14 EU countries have their own digital identity schemes, of which only 7 are mobile apps.