April 8, 2022
by: Identyum
Identyum ID Wallet is the first EU EBSI blockchain compliant in this part of the European union. This is the story behind its development.

Back in 2018, while working as the director of the IT sector at the Swedish fintech startup Instantor, which spent huge resources on the development of a digital identity verification service, our CEO and founder Robert Ilijaš, experienced the so-called aha-moment. Their identity check was based on the identity data the citizen had in his bank, which he proved through the bank, and each time – again and again.

He began to realize that something was wrong – citizens lacked an independent service, a digital place where we store personal data related to identity, and which at the same time allows us to have complete control over personal data while at the same time decide whether and to whom to share it with.

Highly protected digital space is the foundation of the vision
The concept of Identyum as a digital ID wallet was created as a personal, highly protected digital data storage space where citizens can store data related to their identity and through which they can digitally prove their identity to others, while having full control over secrecy and access over their personal data. Robert decided to develop the idea independently and at the end of 2018 he founded Identyum. Shortly after he was joined by colleagues from Instator Tomislav Bošnjaković and engineer Zvonimir Popovčić. The enthusiastic trio embarked on the development of a digital ID wallet at a time when the ID wallet did not even formally exist. 

First steps
They realized that the idea has a huge potential, this so-called positive disruptive impact on the whole society. A little later, Vicko Mikulić joined them, and now Identyum has 11 full-time employees, mostly software engineers, with an additional 15 people who continuously help from outside (marketing, legal services etc.). Robert says they started so early that they had to think of a name for what they started to develop. Initially, they called it ID profiles. Fortunately, time has shown that they have guessed very well the direction in which society will develop. The EU eIDAS 2.0 directive is currently being written, with the main goal  to define the legal framework for future EU ID wallets. And that’s exactly what they’ve been developing for four years. The directive should enter into force around 2024.

Development of the complex system
Three years are behind the Identyum team and Robert says that it is not easy to create a complex supranational system that should protect citizens and the confidentiality of their personal data on the one hand, and enable full digitalization of all possible business processes based on the same personal data, on the other. We spent the first two years developing the core of the system, the basic mechanisms for retrieving and encrypting personal data when storing it in Identyum ID Wallet, and developing mechanisms for verifying a person’s real identity.  Last year, we were developing the Identyum NOW web portal. In practice, it’s all connected and it’s never over because we’re constantly adding new features that we believe could be useful to both citizens and companies. 

What is an ID Wallet?
If you use a mobile phone, you know that bank cards can be virtualized or stored there. So, when paying, you no longer have to take a plastic bank card from your wallet, just lean your mobile phone to the POS device and the virtualized bank card will be used for payment. Such virtualized bank cards are most often stored and used via Google Pay or Apple Pay services on mobile phones. Now, imagine that instead of a bank card, you can virtualize your ID card, driver’s license or college diploma and control who and how can access them via your mobile phone. It is, roughly, ID Wallet, your place for storing and sharing personal data that is very strongly protected and exclusively under your control. 

No unnecessary waiting in line
Ask yourself why you wait in line at the bank, post office or various institutions and you will see that the most common answer is to identify yourself or to sign something. So you are waiting in line to be able to present your ID card, so that the counter employee can check that it is really you, and so that you can then arrange or sign the service you came for.  If you could make this identification step digitally, which means remotely, and if, in addition to your digital identity, there was the possibility of your legally valid electronic signature, then waiting in lines at various counters would become unnecessary.  This would practically remove all obstacles for companies and institutions to fully digitize their business processes. And this is exactly what we do, and these are the basic functions of the Identyum ID Wallet – remote identification and a legally valid electronic signature.

The first EBSI compliant ID Wallet in this part of the world
EBSI is the blockchain foundation of the entire EU infrastructure on which future EU ID wallets will be based, according to the eIDAS 2.0 directive, which is currently in the final preparations before being sent to the EU Parliament. Our ID wallet is eight in the entire EU to succeed in this compliance, and the first in SEE. This means that the Identyum ID Wallet is ready to support the functionalities of future ID wallets as seen by the European Commission, 2 years before the legal framework.

Web portal launch soon
Identyum NOW web portal will soon be available. It is a web portal where citizens will finally be able to start using their Identyum ID Wallets. For a start, people and companies will be able to use the Sign service through Identyum NOW web portal in order to legally validly electronically sign documents, i.e. PDFs. In late 2022, additional advanced digital services Identify and FinCheck will arrive on the NOW portal. The main advantage of the Identyum Sign service is that the other person or company to whom you sent the PDF document for signature, does not have to have anything but a mobile phone and ID card at the first creation of the ID wallet. The second big advantage is that such a signature has high probative value in every court of the European Union because it is based on the authentic identity of the signatory. The official launch of the Identyum NOW web portal is April 20 this year. The web portal will be available here: now.identyum.com

The project is funded by the Interreg V-A Hungary-Croatia Cooperation Programme 2014-2020, Beneficiary Light Grant Scheme (B Light). The content of this article is the sole responsibility of Identity Consortium d.o.o. and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union and/or the Managing Authority.