Estonia has by far the most highly-developed national ID-card system in the world. Much more than a legal photo ID, the mandatory national card also provides digital access to all of Estonia’s secure e-services.
The chip on the card carries embedded files, and using 384-bit ECC public key encryption, it can be used as definitive proof of ID in an electronic environment.
Here are some examples of how it is regularly used in Estonia:
- legal travel ID for Estonian citizens travelling within the EU
- national health insurance card
- proof of identification when logging into bank accounts
- for digital signatures
- for i-Voting
- to check medical records, submit tax claims, etc.
- to use e-Prescriptions
Thanks to the ID-card, Estonia has one of the world’s most advanced digital signature systems.
To learn more about the ID-card, visit its webpage
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Mobile-ID allows people to use a mobile phone as a form of secure digital ID. Like the ID-card, it can be used to access secure e-services and digitally sign documents, but has the added advantage of not requiring a card reader.
The system is based on a special mobile SIM card, which the customer must request from the mobile phone operator. Private keys are stored on the mobile SIM card along with a small application delivering the authentication and signature functions.
Here’s how it is used to log into a secure site, for instance a bank account:
- The user clicks the “Log in with Mobile-ID” option on a supported website
- The phone beeps and displays a screen indicating that a connection is being made
- The user is prompted to enter a pin code into the phone
- The screen on the phone disappears and the user gains access to the secure website
As smart phones have become standard, having the Mobile-ID option will become increasingly handy, allowing users to vote, for instance, via a phone’s web browser.
To learn more visit the Mobile-ID webpage
Estonia is creating a borderless digital society for global citizens as the first country to offer e-Residency.
E-Residency is a transnational digital identity that anyone in the world can apply for to obtain access to a platform built on inclusion, legitimacy and transparency. E-residents then have access to the EU business environment and can use public e-services through their digital identity.
The primary reason e-residents are joining this community is to run a trusted location-independent EU business online with all the tools needed to conduct business globally.
- Establish and manage a location-independent company online from anywhere in the world
- Establish a trusted EU company online in one day
- Manage the resulting company fully online
- Apply for a business bank account and conduct secure e-banking
- Access international payment service providers (Paypal, Braintree, etc.)
- Digitally sign and transmit documents
- Declare Estonian taxes online
Why open a company in Estonia?
- Join one of the most advanced digital societies
- Membership of the EU, NATO, OECD and eurozone provides advantages and stability
- Low startup and maintenance costs
- Growth is incentivized with 0% corporate tax on reinvested profits
- Minimal bureaucracy and a clear tax framework
- Minimal corruption in a transparent business environment
- Trade in euros to mitigate the risk of currency fluctuations
E-residents receive a digital ID-card with two PIN numbers for secure digital authentication and digital signatures. Secure digital signatures are legally equivalent to a handwritten signature and face-to-face identification in Estonia, as well as between partners upon agreement anywhere around the world.
e-Residency is Estonia’s gift to the world – the opportunity for anyone, anywhere to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Smart-ID is a convenient new mobile application that works as an identification solution for anyone that does not have a SIM card in their smart device but needs to securely prove their online identity. As a simple, easy to use and convenient alternative to bank code cards, with it you can log in to financial sector e-services and confirm transactions and agreements.
As of November 2018, Smart-ID is recognized as QSCD (Qualified Signature Creation Device). This is the highest level of recognition in the EU and now all users can digitally sign documents on Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) level that must be recognized by every EU member state. Read more here.
You can use it on smartphones and tablets. You only need a Wi-Fi network or mobile internet connection to use it, no data roaming or special SIM cards are necessary.
Using Smart-ID for personal identification is free, totally unlimited and the app can be downloaded to any Android and iOS smart devices.
Developers of e-Identity
These e-Identity solutions are provided by the following Estonian companies:
- SK ID Solutions ID-card, Mobile-ID, Smart-ID, digital signature Visit website
- Raul Walter ID-card Visit website
- Politsei- ja Piirivalveamet ID-card Visit website
- Telia Mobile-ID Visit website
- Nortal Mobile-ID, eID Lifecycle Management, Public Key Infrastructure, digital signature, eID Authentication, Data encryption with eID Visit website
- B.EST Solutions Estonia Mobile-ID Visit website
Find out more about the services and know-how of the Estonian IT sector