The use of Mobile ID is on the rise in Finland

Encouraging the use of reliable electronic identification is of critical importance to the development of a digital society. The number of people using electronic transactions and communications is continually increasing, and when services are portable, it’s only natural for your method of identification to be found in your pocket, too.

Methods of strong electronic identification currently in use in Finland are identification codes offered by banks, Mobile ID, and the electronic identity card issued by the state, though the latter is used very little.

Online bank codes are the most popular while the electronic identity card is rarely used

The majority of Finns still use banks’ traditional codes to identify themselves. Between January and June this year, 88.8% of identification to official services took place using online bank codes and 5.5% using Mobile ID. In June 2019, Mobile ID had already increased its share to 6.4%. The use of the electronic identity card is very low and it is used primarily by officials logging in to their own services.

Mobile ID is electronic identification inside a phone’s SIM card, developed by Finnish mobile telephone network operators DNA, Elisa and Telia. The Mobile ID is always wherever your phone is, and you only need to remember a single PIN code of your own choice to use it. Mobile ID already works in over one thousand services: it can be used for health care, municipal, state administration, educational institution and bank, financing and insurance services, for example.

Mobile ID has grown in popularity. Its share of log-ins grew almost 60 per cent in comparison to the first half of the previous year.

Change in legislation promotes market development

The Act on Strong Electronic Identification and Electronic Signatures changed in Finland in early April 2019. The new legislation aims to increase the range of secure and reliable electronic services. In Finland, despite several attempts, the state has not succeeded in building a functional tool for strong electronic identification.

It is hoped that the state will not aim to be an operator on the electronic identification market at present. A more sustainable solution from the state’s perspective is to utilise existing market-based electronic identification alternatives rather than developing its own identification tool from scratch.