As more and more parts of our lives go to online mode, proving we are who we say we are has become a rather cumbersome process, since merely providing some form of physical identification is not the norm anymore. That’s where Electronic Identification or E-ID comes into rescue.
What Exactly is Electronic Identity?
Simply put, E-ID is the digital equivalent of a physical ID such as a driving license or state ID, that can be used across various platforms to verify one’s identity. It can be used to prove the distinguished identity of a person or organization remotely, and get access to different services. Electronic identity documents include national eID cards, electronic residence permits, ePassports and multi-application cards which can be used with or without a smart card reader and a middleware software.
It can contain a chip to store the address of the cardholder as well as identity and signature keys.
Advantages of Electronic Identity
- Unified access to various platforms
Depending on the location of the user, an E-ID can be used to access a bevy of services such as health centers, banks, university admission, filing taxes etc by performing a secure web login.
A very popular use of E-ID is to make payments between individuals.
Electronic identification can also be used by an individual for self-authentication within various applications installed on their smartphone and web services on the same smartphone, as well as for websites on other devices such as a personal or public computer.
In addition to access, E-IDs also give the option to digitally sign a document such as a contract or application form, using a private key.
- Unambiguous authentication
An E-ID can be used across multiple platforms and services to authenticate an individual online, rather than registering and filling in forms or submitting physical documents over and over.
- Protection from misuse
The ability to confirm who they are unequivocally while performing electronic transactions protects organizations as well as individuals from abuse and misuse.
This is the reason why various businesses like brokerage farms, banks use electronic identification to prevent fraud and money laundering while complying with the KYC regulations.
And when it comes to government services, an E-ID helps protect individuals against Identity theft, phishing and fraud.