Czech Banks Verify People’s Identity on the Internet, Used by Millions

Banking identity, which provides verified access to government and private company services on the web, has already been utilized by over three million people, accounting for forty percent of adult Czechs. However, more than six million people have the opportunity to use it. This service is offered by nine Czech banks.

Banking identity is the most widespread method of digital identity verification in the Czech Republic. In addition to banking identity, other options include mobile keys for e-government, electronic signatures, and data boxes.

This identity allows individuals to log in to data boxes, the Citizen Portal, where they can apply for a driver’s license, and the systems of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, where they can apply for social benefits.

It can also be used for accessing the New Green Savings program for subsidies on photovoltaics or insulation.

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Apart from government agencies, banking identity is also utilized by 200 companies. These include health insurance companies for accessing client portals, as well as financial, telecommunications, and insurance companies. Even e-shops selling alcohol and tobacco require it for verification.

“There are even twenty unmanned stores where entry is possible after identity verification. This allows the preservation of stores in small communities,” said Regina Sehnalová from the Banking Identity company, which operates the system in cooperation with banking institutions.

With banking identity, individuals can also sign contracts, such as for pension savings or with water supply companies. “It is equivalent to using a pen and paper to sign paper documents,” said Sehnalová.

Participating Banks

  • Air Bank
  • Banka CREDITAS
  • Česká spořitelna
  • ČSOB
  • Fio banka
  • Komerční banka
  • MONETA Money Bank
  • Raiffeisenbank
  • UniCredit Bank (currently only provides access to government portals)

According to Sehnalová, the Bank iD SIGN electronic signature allows the valid signing of most documents in the private law sector. However, the institution or company and the individual must utilize the system.

“Tens of thousands of people have already taken advantage of this and electronically signed documents such as health insurance applications, pension savings contracts, registrations with general practitioners, agreements with water supply companies, telecommunication companies, apartment rental contracts, or private school enrollment forms,” specified Sehnalová.

How to Obtain Banking Identity

Individuals can access their internet banking using their credentials to access their identity. The bank does not see any details, and the institution or company cannot access the individual’s bank account. Login details are also not visible.

“Banking identity is automatically established for all users of Internet banking services offered by participating banks,” added Sehnalová.

No installation is required, and additional login details must not be remembered. Activating banking identity is only necessary in some instances, and individuals should directly contact their bank. Establishing and using a banking identity is free of charge.