New electronic ID function for smartphones

electronic ID function smartphones

New electronic ID function for smartphones 


New electronic ID function for smartphones

  • Jointly developed by Vodafone, Bundesdruckerei and Giesecke+Devrient 
  • Simple and secure ID data storage on the eSIM 
  • Use e-government services, open bank accounts or book rental cars with the smartphone
  • A Europe-wide solution for all smartphone makes and models

People would be lost without their smartphones today. We use them for communication, navigation, entertainment and even payments. Aware that it’s high time for a smartphone-based ID function that allows us to use our smartphones for other things, such as opening bank accounts, booking rental cars or e-government services, the German government set up its ‘Digital Identities’ project.  Bundesdruckerei, Giesecke+Devrient and Vodafone are also actively involved in the German Ministry for Economic Affair’s ‘Secure Digital Identities’ showcase programme. These initiatives prompted Bundesdruckerei GmbH, Giesecke+Devrient and Vodafone to plan their own collaborative project and develop an eID function for smartphones. One of the key elements of the eID service is an eSIM integrated in the smartphone for the secure storage of the user’s personal identification data. The solution will appeal to a broad customer base because it is manufacturer-independent and thus compatible with a wide range of smartphone models. In many cases the eID function eliminates the need to hold the ID card up to the smartphone, so users can identify themselves online in a simple and secure process.  

Smartphone-based identity verification in the digital world

The goal is to transfer the identity card’s online ID function to smartphone users’ eSIMs for identification (online registration) or authentication (online login) applications before the end of this year.  When that happens, it will be possible to use one single device for entire digital rental car booking or account opening processes, without the need to present a physical ID card. The same applies to e-government services. Unlocking doors is another function set to be taken over by the smartphone because digital house, hotel and car keys can all be temporarily or permanently stored on the eSIM.  

Set up is easy for smartphone users: here’s how 

Users set up the service up by downloading an app, which is due to be launched in autumn 2021, for registration of their physical ID document. To transfer the ID data to the smartphone and verify them the physical ID document (ID card, electronic residence permit or eID card for EU citizens) has to be held up to the back of the smartphone once. After entering the PIN the ID data are read out and saved on the eSIM in a matter of seconds. The data are stored in a decentralised repository ensuring that the user has exclusive control over them.  Once the registration process is complete, the smartphone can be used for high-trust online logins or registrations.

One concept – multiple advantages 

The architects of the fast and secure eID concept are Bundesdruckerei, Giesecke+Devrient and Vodafone. The technology is compatible with the eSIMs of all European mobile network operators, offering a high-reach standard European mobile eID solution for fast market penetration. At the same time, it is manufacturer-independent and can currently be deployed on all Android-based smartphones with eSIM. Further regulatory actions will be necessary to make the eID function available to Android and iOS customers, and for the Europe-wide storage of sensitive data on smartphones. eSIM technology achieves the high level of security necessary for ID solutions with established security concepts, as well as production and server infrastructure audits. The Federal Office for Information Security (BS) is currently defining the requirements for the potential certification of the mobile eID solution.   


Once the registration process is complete, the smartphone can be used for high-trust online logins or registrations. (Source: Vodafone)

The press release and the high-resolution image can be downloaded here.

About G+D

Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) is a global security technology group headquartered in Munich. As a partner to organizations with highest demands, G+D engineers trust and secures essential values with its solutions. The company's innovative technology protects physical and digital payments, the connectivity of people and machines, the identity of people and objects, as well as digital infrastructures and confidential data.

G+D was founded in 1852. In the fiscal year 2020, the company generated a turnover of 2.31 billion euros with around 11,500 employees. G+D is represented by 74 subsidiaries and joint ventures in 32 countries. Further information:

About Vodafone Germany 

Vodafone is one of the leading telecoms and technology service providers in Germany. The Düsseldorf-based company provides a comprehensive portfolio of internet, mobile, fixed and TV services. Vodafone is the #1 mobile network operator in Germany: No other market player connects more people and machines in Germany via its mobile network. It also has more gigabit fixed network connections and more TV customers in the country than any other German company. 

Vodafone Germany employs some 16,000 people and generates total revenue of about 12 billion euros per year with more than 57 million mobile SIM cards, almost 11 million fixed broadband customers, 13.5 million TV customers and numerous digital solutions. 

As a gigabit company, Vodafone is a key contributor to the development of Germany’s infrastructure. Its German cable footprint extends to almost 24 million households and it provides a gigabit service to over 22 million of those. Vodafone intends to provide two-thirds of all German citizens with gigabit connections by 2022. With its 4G network, Vodafone reaches more than 98% of Germany`s households and the Vodafone NB-IoT network for the industrial and business sectors is delivering IoT connectivity on 97% of Germany’s total area. Vodafone has been operating Germany’s first 5G network since mid-2019. Its 5G services currently reach around 16 million people and will be available to 30 million people by 2021.

Vodafone Germany is the largest operating company of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, contributing around 30% of its revenues. Vodafone Group has over 300 million mobile customers, more than 27 million fixed broadband customers, over 22 million TV customers and connects more than 118 million IoT devices worldwide. More information: or 

About Bundesdruckerei

Bundesdruckerei GmbH together with its subsidiary Maurer Electronics GmbH is a leading German high-tech security company with its headquarters in Berlin. With innovative solutions, products and technologies ‘Made in Germany’, the company protects identities and data. By creating trust and legal certainty in the digital society, Bundesdruckerei GmbH enables governments, companies and citizens to act with confidence in both the analog and the digital world. As a Bundesdruckerei Group company and with more than 250 years of experience under our belt, the company is paving the way for a secure digital age. Bundesdruckerei GmbH currently holds more than 4,500 national and international patents, employs a workforce of around 2,350 and in 2019 generated revenue of EUR 549.5 million. For more information, please visit:

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