Norway pioneers next generation digital ID tech covering 75% of the population

Oslo - 24 June 2016

  • BankID is used by 3.4m Norwegians to prove their identity
  • Accepted by all Government departments, banks and mobile operators
  • Testing of Encap Security’s Smarter Authentication heralds shift from fobs and codes to device-based multi-factor security at internet scale 

Encap Security, provider of uncompromising authentication for financial institutions, today announced its Smart Authentication platform has been selected by Norway’s BankID for a pilot programme beginning in June to test in-app authentication. The pilot aims to take advantage of Norway’s high level of smartphone penetration by creating a BankID that is mobile first and delivers a frictionless user experience to end-users.

Originally developed to simplify online banking access, BankID is now used by 80% of all adults in Norway to prove their identity to various organisations across Norway, including all government departments, and all of the country’s banks and mobile operators. For example, 100% of Norwegian banks accept BankID, more than 50% of people now use BankID to access and file their taxes, and 85% of students in Trondheim sign their tenancy agreement not with a pen but with BankID.

BankID has achieved this near ubiquity by simplifying customer identification, onboarding, and ongoing use of services across ecommerce, finance and telecoms among others. BankID currently uses a combination of hardware-based authentication (key fobs) and one-time-password generation for authentication. By integrating Smarter Authentication, merchants and integrators of BankID can experience the simpler, more flexible and secure multi-factor authentication without these additional codes and pieces of hardware before the release this autumn.

Smarter Authentication is a device-based multi-factor authentication platform that removes the need for key fobs by securely enabling authentication to take place inside an app. The in-app authentication process is intuitive, avoids context switching, and delivers a consistent experience across all customer touch points – mobile, online, phone and in-branch. This approach also opens up the world of smartphone biometrics to millions of users.

“The launch of BankID in 2004 confirmed Norway’s lead when it came to using technology to improve banking and identity,” said Frode Beckmann Nilsen, Head of Development at BankID Norway. “Now we want to make sure we remain ahead of the curve by creating a new experience - dropping the need to carry around key fobs or copy and paste from another app – while also ensuring the highest security standards. Each bank will provide an app and introduce it to the customers in their own pace. Our purpose with this Encap-app has been to provide a useful showroom for our next future proof BankID-experience.”

“BankID is an incredibly popular, highly advanced system that makes signing up and using to multiple services across Norway simple and easy,” said Thomas Bostrøm Jørgensen, CEO, Encap Security. “With Norwegians increasingly accessing information and transacting on their smart devices BankID needs to evolve to deliver the experience users are demanding today, and the capabilities they will expect tomorrow. By adopting a mobile-first approach BankID will cement Norway’s place as the world leader in digital identity.”

The recently-released upgrade to Smarter Authentication, 3.1, includes support for both Apple’s Touch ID and Android’s fingerprint API, making biometric authentication for many new devices possible. Smarter Authentication also has additional protection against Man-in-the-Middle attacks, and its use of App Defender technology means that it is safe to use even on jailbroken or malware-infected devices. 

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