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Unlocking Value: Digital ID, Mobiles, and Payments

– ID4Africa

This article emphasizes the role of ID as the key entry point to a digital ecosystem which creates value for citizens and states

Digital ID, combined with mobile phone payments, enables citizens to make transactions at lower cost and access many services they have been shut out of. This, in turn, extends the use and reach of ID systems - by increasing their value the more they are used.

“People will not want to register for an ID if enrollment is costly or difficult; there will also be little demand for the ID if it is seen as providing little value. Banks will have less incentive to roll out financial accounts to the poor if the cost of onboarding customers is high due to an inadequate ID system.”

The article sets out the principles of use for moving towards digital systems, providing critical questions that can be considered when shaping proposals for policy design, and technology. It concludes by stressing the importance of mitigating against the risks which threaten privacy from the vast amount of data which is generated.

Many countries have already experienced huge and embarrassing breaches, and the situation will only become more urgent in the future

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