Have you ever stood in line and thought: do I have enough money? Well, with mobile-ID developed by SK ID Solutions, you could’ve logged in to your bank and check, in a matter of seconds.
When you see an Estonian logging into a banking service with a code card it most likely signifies that mobile-ID services are down. Luckily, this rarely happens and mobile-ID solutions are extremely popular. This service was created by SK ID Solutions, which hopes to sell similar services to other countries as well.
According to the General Manager of SK ID Solutions, Kalev Pihl, there is a market out there for their solutions. So far, the most popular product that SK has sold abroad is their tachograph certifying service, which was created to service the needs of different roles within international cargo transport in the European Union.
In addition to this service, which is rather difficult to understand, SK has also found success with its mobile-ID authentication service. This allows people to digitally sign documents and access various services, wherever they are and whatever they may be doing. In addition to Estonia, this service is also in use in Lithuania and pilot programmmes have been carried out in other countries as well.
But that is not where things end. SK recently introduced a new service, called Smart-ID, which is open to all EU residents. Presently, the service is up and running in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, enabling people to conveniently and easily log into various services.
It is worth noting, however, that similar systems can be found in other parts of the world as well. For example, Mobile Connect enables logging into various services but what it lacks is one potential – digital signing. Smart-ID will, hopefully, one day allow digital signing of documents as well, providing it with even more usability than it has now.
There are other similar services, but none of them has the kind of history or potential that SK is showing with its Smart-ID and other solutions developed by them.
No job without problems
Pihl explained that exporting services is not without its problems but the biggest of all is an unwillingness to wait. “They see the eID ecosystem that works in Estonia and wish that it would immediately work elsewhere within a year. However, what people might not realize is that it took Estonia, with a population of just 1.3 million, ten years to get everything up and running.”
Still, SK sees the potential in exporting their services. When asked whether they see more potential in Estonia or abroad, Pihl said: “For us, the Estonian market is mature therefore we see more potential abroad.” But “abroad” needn’t be far away. Pihl said that the primary focus is still in the Baltics and the Nordics.
Something big is about to happen
He noted, however, that, thanks to the unified legal framework of the European Union, there is a possibility to create services aimed at the European single market. At this point in time, there are a few bumps in the road. The laws are new and haven’t yet been fully applied in the field of trust services. But in a couple of years services like this could be a reality.
The focus: What is the big thing that SK is going to achieve this year? “This year our big goal is to bring Smart-ID services to a lot of users and to introduce globally something that Estonians have figured out domestically,” Pihl said. However, when going technical, SK hopes to get certified and seconded by outside observers and to create the necessary processes for e-service providers, users and distribution partners to use Smart-ID.