Banking Identity: A Pervasive Digital Access Solution Benefiting Over 3 Million Czechs

Banking identity, a powerful method for verified access to a wide range of government and private online services, has gained significant traction in the Czech Republic. Currently, more than three million people, constituting forty percent of the adult population, have leveraged this digital identity solution. However, the potential user base for this service extends to over six million individuals, presenting a substantial opportunity for further adoption. This service is facilitated by nine Czech banks and has emerged as the most prevalent method of digital identity verification in the country.

Banking identity offers individuals secure access to a variety of online services, including government portals and private company platforms. It enables users to log in to data boxes, the Citizen Portal (for services like driver’s license applications), and the systems of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (for social benefits applications). Moreover, it can be employed to access programs like the New Green Savings initiative, which provides subsidies for photovoltaics or insulation.

Apart from government agencies, banking identity finds utility in the corporate sector, with around 200 companies leveraging its capabilities. This diverse set of entities includes health insurance providers (for accessing client portals), financial institutions, telecommunications companies, insurance firms, and even e-commerce platforms selling restricted items like alcohol and tobacco, where identity verification is essential.

Regina Sehnalová, representing the Banking Identity company that operates the system in collaboration with banking institutions, noted that this service has enabled the operation of twenty unmanned stores where entry is possible only after identity verification, thereby preserving access to essential retail services in small communities.

One of the notable features of banking identity is its applicability in the realm of electronic signatures. Users can digitally sign contracts and documents related to various sectors, such as health insurance applications, pension savings agreements, registrations with healthcare practitioners, contracts with utility companies, telecommunications agreements, apartment rentals, and private school enrollments. Sehnalová emphasized that this digital signature is equivalent to using a pen and paper to sign physical documents, demonstrating its broad versatility.

The banks participating in offering banking identity include Air Bank, Banka CREDITAS, Česká spořitelna, ČSOB, Fio banka, Komerční banka, MONETA Money Bank, Raiffeisenbank, and UniCredit Bank (primarily for government portal access). Users can easily obtain banking identity through their internet banking credentials, without the need for additional installations or memorization of login details. This service is established automatically for users of internet banking services offered by participating banks, and it is provided at no cost.

Article by Prague Forum

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