Why BankID is going to stop working

Municipalities, counties, and public authorities have an important date to keep in mind: June 30.

At that time, the agreement concerning BankID will cease to be valid, and public electronic identification services are at risk of working without an agreement. We explain why this has happened.

Authorities and service providers messed up.

Initially, the idea was that a Swedish e-identification would replace BankID and Telia’s electronic identification. But important public agencies such as the Swedish Social Insurance Agency did not like parts of the security system that the Swedish electronic identification was built upon, while service providers such as BankID and Telia wanted customers to continue with their own proprietary solutions. Also, there was some criticism concerning the remuneration model –  for some authorities, the contract for the Swedish electronic identification would be too expensive.

The Swedish E-identification Board tried to work out a compromise.

The concept Swedish e-identification was intended to make it easier for e-services to join up and to go from proprietary format to open source. Although the Swedish E-identification Board underwent a change process in 2015 in order to work out a compromise with the various actors, it nevertheless did not succeed in bringing together a sufficient number of authorities and service providers, according to Eva Sartorius, strategist at the Swedish E-Identification Board.

The government was emphatic.

During the winter the government put its foot down –  a short- and a long-term solution to the problem would have to be found. The short-term solution would be to secure the public electronic services’ login and signature procedures with an interim solution under two years, and in the long-term, the work with security, the cost to the authorities, and the attempt to appease the major service providers would continue.

Now the monopoly is going to be broken up.

Right now the Swedish E-identification Board is in the process of revising the commercial terms and conditions for Swedish E-identification. The government clearly wants more service providers to be included in order to break up BankID’s domination of the market.

“The government’s task is to aim towards the existence of several alternatives, such that everyone can make use of e-identifications. Neither the government nor the Board is going to be satisfied with so few e-identification providers”, says Eva Sartorius.

120 million logins

In total, more than 120 million logins are performed each year with e-identification, mostly with BankID, to Swedish authorities. Among these, 40 million are to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and 31 million to the Swedish Tax Agency.

11 issuers

Currently, there are 11 issuers of e-identifications. Four banks offer BankID as a service; three of these offer the services as an interim solution. Even Telia offers the interim solution.