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Identification Through a Cell Phone

Banks and mobile operators in Sweden have gotten together to create a standard that may soon allow mobile phone users to use their phones for identification.

The standard is based on an electronic identification system tied to the SIM card in a mobile phone. To use the service, a phone owner creates an electronic identification (e-ID) with a participating bank, which must guarantee that person's identity. Once the e-ID is issued, the person will be able to use his or her phone to confirm his or her identity or legally sign documents using a phone. It may enable people in the future to bank, file tax forms, or even vote over a mobile phone.

The technology for establishing electronic IDs has been available for a number of years, but this is the first time in the world that banks and mobile operators have agreed on a standard for mobile phone use. The new standard will be tested in the second half of 2005.

Copyright © 2005 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 15, No. 6, 7/05

First published on 07/01/2005

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