Passport or identity card needed when applying for a bank ID or mobile certificate

Published 08.11.2018

From the beginning of 2019, a passport or identity card will need to be shown when applying for a new strong electronic identification device from a bank or telecommunications operator. Strong electronic identification devices include online banking codes, mobile certificates issued by telecommunications operators and the citizenship certificates used in identity cards. Strong electronic identification devices offered to consumers include online banking codes, mobile certificates issued by telecommunications operators and the citizenship certificates used in identity cards.

The Act on Strong Electronic Identification and Electronic Signatures (617/2009) regulates the type of identification documents that can be accepted for the purposes of granting electronic identification devices. As a result of an amendment to this act that will enter into force from the beginning of 2019, banks and telecommunications operators that provide identification devices must require the applicant to present a valid passport or identity card. Some banks and telecommunications operators already require a passport or identity card to be presented. More information on the acceptable identification documents is available from banks and telecommunications operators. The purpose of the change is to make strong electronic identification more secure. Driving licenses will be accepted as a valid form of identification when applying for strong electronic identification devices until 31 December 2018.

The importance of strong electronic identification has increased as a result of the proliferation of electronic services and resulting increase in the flow of confidential data. “Electronic identification is no longer possible with the same forms of identification that are valid in face-to-face customer service situations. Therefore, it is important that when an application for a new identification tool is being processed the identity of the applicant can be authenticated so as to minimise the risk of issuing the identification device to the wrong person", says Jukka-Pekka Juutinen, Head of the Security Supervision group at the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority.

No change to electronic application process for identification devices

The change that will take effect from the beginning of 2019 will have no effect on the electronic application process for new identification devices. The change only applies to applications for electronic identification that are conducted in person. A person will still be able to apply for a new strong electronic identification tool electronically if they already have a strong electronic identification tool and the issuer of the new identification device had made it possible for applications to be submitted electronically. In this case, the identification of an application for a strong electronic identification device is based on a strong electronic identification tool that is already in use by that person.

The change resulting from the amended legislation will not affect identification devices issued before 1 January 2019.

Neither will the change have any effect on the acceptability of driving licenses as proof of both age and identity in many everyday situations.

Additional information

Jukka-Pekka Juutinen, Head of Security Supervision, tel. +358 295 390 523

Legal Counsel Marko Priiki, tel. +358 295 390 596

Ficora email addresses are in the form firstname.lastname(at) (without Scandinavian letters)

Key words: Information security , Cyber security , Electronic identification , Electronic services , News

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