Belgium develops digital wallet for online government services, UK may follow

Belgium has announced the launch of a digital wallet allowing people living in the country to access government services through a single online platform. The digital wallet would be used to consolidate all official documents, according to The Brussels Timesand allow users to authenticate their digital identity through their smartphone.

A new digital ministry will be created by the government to oversee the project, and Secretary of State for Digitization Mathieu Michel said the system will integrate existing systems used by ministries. A budget of €50 million (approximately $58.2 million) has been set to implement the digital wallet and platform.

The digital wallet will not be mandatory, but offered as an option to simplify digital processes, from driver’s license applications to building permits, and alleviate government complexity.

The government has not yet clarified whether the digital wallet will be developed as a mobile application, a website or both.

The system should be operational in 2023.

The British public supports a similar move

Meanwhile, in the UK, the majority of respondents say their level of confidence in accessing public services online has increased over the past two years, reports British authoritybut most want a government digital identity solution to reduce the number of steps required.

The survey was commissioned by BT and showed that 60% are more confident in accessing online services, with 75% saying they are comfortable using their smartphone to access digital public services.

However, public online services are generally not used frequently, with almost half of UK citizens with full internet access using them at most a few times a year. The report suggests that this limited engagement may be due to varying quality across services. A third of respondents said they use an online service that is not fully digitized, with some requiring the submission of paper forms, and 15% say they need multiple attempts with the same service to complete a single action.

A government digital ID is supported by 73% of respondents.

The survey also showed that some people are more confident in the government’s ability to manage people’s data than before the pandemic, but 80% would like more transparency around online data.

Article topics

biometrics | consumer adoption | data protection | digital identity | digital wallet | electronic government | government services | identity verification | online authentication | UK

Ashley C. Reynolds