Digital identity is a concept that is constantly evolving and becoming increasingly aligned with allied areas, such as security, privacy, and management of identity-related data. Within the government sector, this emerging technology has significant upside potential for growth.
According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, the number of users of digital identity documents globally will exceed 6.5 billion by 2026 — that’s up from 4.2 billion in 2022.
This expansion of over 50 percent has been accelerated by the global COVID-19 pandemic and reflects the growing importance of digital identity in sectors such as government services.
Digital Identity Market Development
According to the Juniper assessment, a digital identity document is a digital representation of a physical identity document.
The new research found that ease and equality of access are critical factors for the use of digital identity in government services.
Juniper analysts recommend that governments partner with digital identity vendors with diverse identity datasets, to ensure an inclusive digital transformation in eGovernment services.
The market study also found that digital identity cards, where digital details are loaded onto an identity card, will be used by over 4 billion people globally in 2026 — that’s up from 2.5 billion in 2022.
This ongoing digitization is a prerequisite for many digital initiatives within eGovernment, and will allow significant digital enablement to evolve over the next five years.
“Identity cards have been controversial in some countries due to privacy concerns, but they are a well-established mechanism for digitizing identity practices,” said Damla Satat, industry analyst at Juniper Research.
Juniper analysts believe that if third-party access is governed correctly, identity cards can be at the center of the digital identity market, but they need to be backed by secure business processes.
The research found that while eCommerce fraud has been rife, government services must not be ignored from a verification perspective.
As government-issued documents are critical to digital identity processes, any compromise of these secure documents is very risky.
Therefore, governments issuing digital identity documents must work with verification vendors who offer a variety of different validation scenarios across use cases — or they will fail to secure this high-risk fraud challenge.
Outlook for Digital Identity Applications Growth
That said, I believe wider adoption of identity networks requires omnichannel support, it is facilitated by the re-use of identity verification and authentication to add assurance to online transactions.
The digital identity landscape has multiple interwoven elements bridging privacy or security and usability aspects contained in a digital identity solution. These different elements shape the trends and illustrate where the identity offerings are maturing in the market.
Identity is increasingly viewed as an ecosystem rather than an end product. Therefore, new identity systems will heavily depend on both the foundations and the technology linked to process layers.
At the core of these systems will be user experience and simplicity or convenience of use. Their success may also depend on how different components are integrated within an all-in-one identity solution.