Ecommerce Europe asks for pan-European e-Identification

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Introduction
Ecommerce Europe together with its national associations is asking governments for a rapid implementation of e-Identification (e-ID) schemes that are recognized in all Member States. Such advancement would unleash the potential of e-Identification for the benefit of cross-border e-commerce by enabling greater trust, security and convenience for online merchants and shoppers.

e-Identification for e-commerce
Ecommerce Europe and its national associations are advocating for a swift and common implementation of mutually recognized e-ID schemes across Member States. Mutually recognized e-ID schemes would benefit cross-border e-commerce as online shoppers and merchants across Europe could rely on a fast and secure identification in every European Member State. Existing e-Identification schemes, based on real IDs, have the potential to reduce cyber fraud and would enable a more convenient shopping experience by fast identification and rapid order processing. e-Identification could also provide practical age verification for required products (e.g. alcohol, tobacco and medication). A reliable and user-friendly pan-European e-identification scheme would therefore stimulate cross-border trade and provide a win-win-win for consumers, retailers, and economic growth.

Need for pan-European e-identification
The various e-ID schemes of Member States are currently lacking mutual recognition and cross-border interoperability. This creates barriers which prevent citizens and businesses from fully benefiting from the digital single market. The mutual recognition of eID means that are falling under a notified e-ID scheme, is supposed to be stimulated by a new e-identification regulation from the European Commission. The Regulation, however, does not oblige Member States to introduce national electronic identification schemes or to notify their existing e-Identification for creating pan-European interoperability between e-ID schemes. Ecommerce Europe is therefore calling upon national governments to stimulate the development of interoperable e-identities and to notify their electronic identification schemes to the European Commission for the mutual recognition and acceptance of pan-European e-IDs.

Next steps
Member States can start joining the system for mutual recognition of national systems of e-identification on 1 July 2015, the last day to join will be 1 July 2018. Ecommerce Europe will continue to encourage Member States to kick start their e-ID systems as soon as possible.

For more information on how e-Identification can benefit e-commerce, please read our Position Paper e-Identification & Online Trust Services (2014) here.

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