The State of Belgium to issue digital wallets in 2023

The State of Belgium to issue digital wallets in 2023
Mobile app. Credit: The Brussels Times

Belgian citizens will be able to use a mobile app to download digital wallets for official business during the course of 2023, Secretary of State for Digitalisation, Mathieu Michel, announced on Wednesday in the Chamber.

Tests are currently being conducted with the mobile application, which the Secretary of State had announced earlier on Bel RTL.

The app will contain each person’s virtual identity card, communications from the authorities sent via the e-box, and various certificates such as the driving licence.

Online counters (e-loket) of other levels of authority, such as the communes, could be integrated into the system. “This will be a choice, not an obligation,” Michel stressed.

The application will respect European eIDAS (identification), NIS2 (security) and Single Digital Gateway (interoperability) standards.

“I am a big fan of Itsme,” added the Secretary of State in response to questions from MEPs about the future of the identification tool. There is no question of doing without it, he said.

Identification tools are governed by a 2017 royal decree that sets out the conditions for a private company to have access to citizens’ data and, in turn, provide access to a digital service.

“If another company respects the standards, it can have the same access (to the data). Our responsibility is to guarantee our citizens’ access to digital services. As long as access is guaranteed, I have no problem,” the Secretary of State stressed.

The MyID application was added to Itsme a few days ago.

Opposition parliamentarian Michael Freilich (N-VA) said the Belgian Royal Decree was more flexible than the European standards, preventing interoperability of MyID.

Mathieu Michel said the Royal Decree would be improved but reassured the Chamber on the security of the new identification tool.

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