GSMA trials Mobile Connect cross-border e-government services in Spain and Finland

As a European who often travels within the region, I’ve seen a lot of noticeable changes for the better over the past few years. Take the recent progress on telecoms roaming charges as an example of how the public and private sectors can come together to build consensus that positively impacts hundreds of millions of citizens.

Now, we’re at the start of another new and exciting development in the history of Europe. As part of the Digital Single Market movement, we are supporting a pilot of cross-border collaboration in e-government services.

Mobile Connect is the first private-sector authentication solution compatible with European Union eIdentification and Trust Services (eIDAS) Regulation. The trial demonstrates how to identify an EU-citizen of one Member State in order to gain access to a public service of another.

Right now, the Catalonia Regional Government, the Finnish Ministry of Finance, and the Finnish Population Centre are participating in the trial. It is hoped that this trial will lead to Europeans being able to use their regular ID credentials, to travel to other EU countries and access both their homeland services and those at their destination.

These services could be anything from enrolment in a foreign university to filing of multiple tax returns, access to electronic medical records or even authorisation of a doctor to access these on one’s behalf. It would also enable citizens moving or relocating to another member state to manage registration and other administration online with the same legal certainty as they currently have with traditional paper-based processes.

Mobile Connect is the GSMA’s universal log-in solution and digital authentication services. Everyone who uses it is given a universal ID for all service providers, with added security offered by a two-factor authentication system on the user’s own smartphone. As more of our world moves online, it makes sense that we digitize many of our interactions with our governments, and beyond, with all cross-European online services.

While a small scale trial now, we will hopefully look back in ten years and see this as the start of a seamless and valued European cross-border e-government experience that we wouldn’t want to live without.

Is this trial something that you’re happy to see? What other services do you think would make sense to digitize across Europe? Let me know either in the comments or @Gemalto.

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