Remembering dozens of digital passwords is nobody’s hobby. But help is on its way, at least in Belgium, with app itsme. It allows smartphone users to sign in online and approve bank transactions as well as many other services that require passwords or card readers.
Launched earlier this year, itsme is the first digital identity to potentially replace all passwords on the web. All that Belgian citizens need to start using it is the app, a five-digit PIN and a SIM card.
ING played an important role in the development of the app which is now being opened up to all users. The first 5000 invites go out to customers this week and by mid-September, all ING customers will be able to use it.
One key to 100 doors
Jan De Vliegher, digital channels manager at ING in Belgium, described itsme as “one key to a hundred doors”.
“On (28 August) we will activate itsme on our web channels, without clients having to use their card or card reader anymore.
“That same key will also unlock other online bank applications, investment platforms, HR portals, etc,” said Jan.
Later this year, Belgians are expected to use itsme for government services, including submitting tax returns. A number of insurance companies and retailers are said to be eager to start using it.
Next year, users are expected to be able to sign legally-binding documents electronically.
One of the significant features of itsme is that it is secure on three counts. It only works if you use your mobile phone, SIM card and personal itsme code together. If just one of the three elements is missing, your digital identity is blocked immediately. It also adheres to all privacy requirements.
Itsme is the result of a partnership between Belgium’s four leading banks and three mobile network operators. The Belgian federal government is also involved.
ING co-created the app from concept and business case, to branding, pricing and co-writing the rulebook on how the ecosystem operates.