The European Union is reportedly working on a mobile digital wallet that could support far more types of identification documents than Apple’s Wallet app. While Wallet can store your credit and debit cards, along with passes and tickets, the EU’s digital wallet will allow EU members to store their driver’s license, access various private and public services, and more.
As first noted by the Financial Times, the app will centralize access to a whole lot of information using a single online ID. Up until now, EU member states have had their own digital IDs. However, these have not all been compatible with one another and adoption has been low. Now the EU is looking at creating one unified solution.
An Engadget report writes that:
“Users will reportedly be able to open the app via fingerprint or retina scanning, though final details are not yet nailed down. The digital wallet will not be compulsory, but it will supposedly offer citizens greater digital security and flexibility. To protect privacy, the EU will prevent companies from using any data gleaned from the IDs for marketing and other commercial activities.”
As an example of how it might be used, a person could supposedly rent a car remote through the application. They could then verify their identity and have an electronic key issued without them having to wait in line. The process is intended to be “simple, secure and it will protect people” online. The current plans are for it to roll out in around a year.
Solving the identity problem
Apple and the EU have had their far share of battles. The European Union ordered Apple pay the massive $14.8 billion sum in August 2016. This was then overturned on appeal. The EU also has multiple investigations into Apple. One is probing Apple’s control of the App Store. The other is focused on Apple Pay. Nonetheless, while the EU — and, in particular, competition chief Margrethe Vestager — may be the scourge of Big Tech, it certainly seems to share some of the same ambitions in terms of tech-driven solutions to personal identity.
It’s not yet clear what the finished form of the EU’s digital wallet will be. That includes whether it will be on online portal or a downloadable app for use on mobile. (This second options makes the most sense.)
What do you think of the planned digital wallet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.