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blocshop
April 29, 2024
0 min read

eIDAS: The regulation helping secure Europe's digital future

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The eIDAS (Electronic Identification, Authentication, and Trust Services) regulation is a framework in the European Union designed to instill confidence in electronic transactions across EU member states. It provides a robust structure for digital identity and authentication, promoting secure online services and e-commerce. By establishing mutual recognition of electronic identification across EU countries, eIDAS ensures that an eID issued in one member state is valid across all others, bolstering trust and simplifying cross-border digital interactions.

eIDAS is critical for electronic identification and trust services, like electronic signatures and seals, which ensure data integrity and security in digital transactions. This is especially important e.g. in fintech and open banking services, where secure digital identity verification is essential for carrying out financial transactions. This regulation supports the digital internal market and enhances user convenience and security in online activities ranging from tax declarations to setting up businesses abroad.

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When was eIDAS created?

eIDAS was officially established by the European Union through Regulation (EU) No 910/2014, which came into effect on July 23, 2014. The regulation became applicable across EU member states on July 1, 2016, replacing the existing directive on electronic signatures from 1999.

What is the purpose of eIDAS?

The primary purpose of eIDAS is to enhance trust and convenience in electronic transactions across the European Union by providing a common foundation for secure electronic interaction. This includes the standardization of electronic identification (eID) and trust services, such as electronic signatures, electronic seals, time stamping, electronic registered delivery services, and certificate services for website authentication.

eIDAS regulates several key digital mechanisms, including:

  • Electronic Signatures and Seals: Facilitate secure digital contracts and authentications.

  • Electronic Registered Delivery Services (ERDS): Ensure the secure and confirmed delivery of electronic communications.

  • Website Authentication: Certify the authenticity of websites, enhancing consumer and business confidence in e-commerce.

Who pushes the implementation of eIDAS?

The implementation of eIDAS is driven by the European Commission, which oversees its adoption and monitors its integration across member states. The Commission works in collaboration with national governments to ensure that the eIDAS framework is effectively implemented and that national eID schemes are interoperable within the EU digital single market.

What is the EU trust mark?

The EU Trust Mark serves as a seal of approval indicating that electronic trust services and their providers comply with the high standards set out by the eIDAS Regulation. This mark assures users that they can engage in online transactions safely and securely. It applies to all trust service providers who have received the qualified status under eIDAS, allowing them to display the EU Trust Mark as a simple, recognizable indication of their compliance and reliability.

This trust mark helps enhance user confidence in digital services across Europe, ensuring a uniform standard of trust. It is an important element in the broader pursuit of cybersecurity and reliable digital identity verification across the EU, as evidenced by recent initiatives like the first-ever European cybersecurity certification scheme and the development of European Digital Identity Wallets. The rules for using the logo, including specifications for its form, are outlined in the eIDAS Regulation and the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/806 of 22 May 2015.

What are EU Trusted lists?

EU Trusted Lists are critical under the eIDAS Regulation, obliging Member States to establish, maintain, and publish lists of qualified trust service providers. These lists confirm the qualifications of providers and their services so that users across the EU can rely on their authenticity and legal compliance. This is key in enhancing market certainty and interoperability of trust services, supporting secure transactions and digital interactions across Europe. The lists are securely published and accessible, facilitating the validation of electronic signatures, seals, and more, bolstering the digital single market's security infrastructure.

What is eIDAS 2.0?

eIDAS 2.0 is an enhancement of the existing eIDAS regulation passed by the European Parliament on February 29th, 2024. This revised regulation focuses on broadening the utilization and acceptance of digital identities, ensuring that every EU citizen and business can use their national digital identities (eIDs) across all Member States for a wider range of services. While eIDAS 2.0 includes various updates aimed at enhancing and expanding the EU's digital infrastructure and services, the European Digital Identity Wallet is perhaps the most visible and impactful of these changes, directly affecting how individuals will interact with both governmental and private digital services across Europe.

Learn more about eIDAS 2.0.

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How has eIDAS changed the European digital market?

eIDAS helped create a more integrated and trustworthy digital single market within the EU. Its provisions for mutual recognition of eIDs and standardization of trust services facilitate smoother, more secure cross-border transactions. This regulatory environment encourages innovation and competition, leading to the creation of new business models and services. For the fintech sector, eIDAS supports the development of new financial products that can securely leverage digital identities.

eIDAS brings several benefits to various stakeholders:

1.) Businesses: It simplifies digital transactions and reduces administrative burdens, enabling businesses to operate more efficiently across EU borders. It also enhances the trustworthiness of electronic transactions, facilitating e-commerce and digital trade.

2.) Citizens: Individuals benefit from easier access to public services and can engage in secure electronic transactions across the EU. This includes everything from online banking to enrolling in educational programs in different EU countries.

3.) Public Administrations: eIDAS helps public sector entities to streamline operations and deliver electronic services more securely and efficiently. This includes digital services such as tax filings, social security, and health-related services.

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How is eIDAS related to PSD3?

eIDAS and PSD3 are both regulatory frameworks within the European Union, and while they address different aspects of the digital and financial landscapes, they are interconnected in terms of enhancing security, digital identity, and trust in online transactions.

eIDAS (Electronic Identification, Authentication, and Trust Services) Regulation primarily focuses on secure electronic interactions by standardizing electronic identification and trust services across the EU. It ensures that digital identities and electronic transactions are secure, enhancing the trustworthiness and efficiency of services across borders. This includes electronic signatures, website authentication, and other trust services that verify the identities and integrity of transactions and communications.

PSD3 (Payment Services Directive 3) is specifically targeting the regulation of payment services to improve competition, enhance consumer protection, and increase transparency in the financial industry. PSD3 builds on PSD2, addressing gaps such as security vulnerabilities, and extends regulatory measures to new entities like fintech and digital payment platforms. It aims to further secure online payments and broaden the scope of financial regulation.

Relationship between eIDAS and PSD3:

1.) Digital Identity Verification: eIDAS provides the mechanisms for secure and verified digital identities, which are crucial for PSD3 when it comes to online payments. As PSD3 emphasizes strong customer authentication and secure communication channels, the identity verification services standardized by eIDAS play a key role.

2.) Enhancing Security: Both frameworks contribute to enhancing the security of digital interactions—eIDAS through its trust services, and PSD3 by securing financial transactions and data privacy.

3.) Regulatory Synergy: The interoperability of eIDAS’s digital identity systems supports PSD3’s goals of secure and seamless payment services across the EU. This synergy helps in smoothing cross-border financial operations and ensuring compliance across different regulatory environments.

4.) Supporting Fintech Innovation: Both regulations create a safer and more competitive market for fintech innovations. eIDAS facilitates trustworthy digital services, while PSD3 opens up the banking ecosystem to new players, fostering innovation in financial services.

Thus, while eIDAS and PSD3 serve distinct purposes, they complement each other in creating a safer, more integrated, and innovative digital and financial environment in the European Union.

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Why is compliance with eIDAS important for Fintech and Open Banking Companies

Compliance with eIDAS is not just beneficial but mandatory for operating legally within the EU. Non-compliance can lead to legal penalties, including fines and restrictions on operations. Being compliant enhances the trustworthiness of a fintech or open banking service. Consumers and business partners are more likely to engage with companies that adhere to recognized standards of security and identity verification.

Companies that are compliant with eIDAS can offer more secure and innovative services, providing them a competitive advantage in the rapidly growing digital finance market. Compliance also signals to potential investors and partners that the company is serious about security and regulatory adherence.

By complying with eIDAS, companies ensure they can operate across all EU countries without encountering barriers related to digital identity acceptance, thereby ensuring operational continuity and scalability.

In essence, eIDAS acts as both a facilitator and a regulator in the digital transformation of the financial sector, helping fintech and open banking services to not only comply with security and identity verification norms but also to capitalize on the opportunities presented by a unified digital market in Europe.

How specialized software consultancy services help with eIDAS compliance

Developer companies with eIDAS expertise can not only help you create custom solutions that integrate eIDAS-compliant services but also provide consultancy to ensure understanding and compliance with the regulatory landscape. Software developers specialized in fintech and open banking such as Blocshop help fintech companies innovate within the secure framework provided by eIDAS and enhance security measures through advanced cryptographic techniques.

Need help with eIDAS, PSD3, or other regulatory compliance within the EU?

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