VIDEO Smart-ID celebrates 5th anniversary


Launched in 2017, SK ID Solutions’ international authentication and digital signing tool Smart-ID celebrates in 2022 its 5th anniversary and more than 3 million active users. To better illustrate Smart-ID path to a widely trusted international authentication tool, we gathered here the most remarkable milestones that have shaped Smart-ID history so far.

The beginning of….

Smart-ID story starts in 2017 February with launching the service in Tallinn, Estonia. The new generation electronic identity solution uses secure split key technology and was developed in accordance with European regulations eIDAS and PSD2 for international markets and relied on secure technologies. By the end of the first year, more than 600 000 end users in three countries – including Latvia where there were no similar solutions available prior that time - had starting using Smart-ID.

By that time, also several dozens of e-services allowed Smart-ID users to login into their services. The rapid adoption of Smart-ID was supported by the fact that it is free of charge for end users, it is easy to use and fast to onboard. These cornerstones are in our focus also today and have brought us users’ trust.

For exceptionally quick adoption rate and the technical implementation, The Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications recognized SK with the award Breakthrough of the Year.

The possibility to use Smart-ID across the borders of the Baltic states is a truly unique solution in the EU and made SK ID Solutions number one eID solutions provider in the Baltics.

Unprecedented growth and internationalisation / Smart-ID became the most popular eID solution across the Baltics?

Smart-ID success story did not stop there. In the first 12 months, the number of users grew 2,6 times and by the end of 2018, there were almost 2 million Smart-ID users. But not only! Many e-services implemented the new authentication tool too because they recognised that their existing customers wanted to use a convenient way to authenticate themselves, and Smart-ID helped them to acquire new customers. 

2019 marked an important milestone for the Smart-ID. Globally, Smart-ID Secure Zone was added to the Qualified Signature Creation Device (QSCD) list published by the European Commission. This means that digital signatures given with Smart-ID are legally binding and equal to the handwritten signatures. And these signatures are recognised across the EU.

In Estonia, it was evaluated and found to correspond to the highest assurance level of electronic identification. As a result, users could authenticate themselves with Smart-ID on the governmental online environments.

After we successfully proved that it is possible to offer the Smart-ID service in any region and within any identity management environment, residents from dozens of different countries started using Smart-ID. By now, people from more than 40 countries are benefitting from Smart-ID service.

Thanks to all these developments, by the end of 2019, Smart-ID was actively used by more than 2,5 million people who used it to make over 50 million transactions each month. This means that in 2019, Smart-ID was the most popular mobile authentication solution across the Baltics. This trend has continued until this day.

Help with the pandemic

In the beginning of 2020, when Smart-ID turned 3 years old, we introduced an unprecedented onboarding solution with biometrics. Back then, it was the first solution in Europe to use AI-based identity validation to issue a qualified certificate for electronic signatures. This solution was nothing less than crucial for millions during the COVID-19 pandemic and thanks to this, Smart-ID was introduced as one solution for easing the pandemic at the Global Business Summit. And it really did help lots of people. For example, in Lithuania, the number of documents signed with Mobile-ID and Smart-ID doubled during the span of one month after a state of emergency was declared in the country. By May, during state of emergency, 50% of Lithuanian bank clients were using Smart-ID to conduct their everyday banking activities

By its fourth birthday in 2021 Spring, Smart-ID had grown to be a truly international eID solution that was widely used even in such remote countries like Iceland. This was also well proved by a survey conducted in all Baltic states: Smart-ID was considered to be the most reliable authentication solution in three Baltic countries. In Latvia and Lithuania, Smart-ID was also the number 1 solution for giving legally binding digital signatures that are recognized by every EU member state. 

At the same time, Smart-ID reached two equally important milestones – 1,5 million Smart-ID users in Lithuania and 1 million Smart-ID users in Latvia.

Just a beginning

The first half of Smart-ID 5th birthday-year brought us a pleasant surprise - according to a brand survey, Smart-ID was one of TOP 5 most favourable brands in Estonia after such brand names like YouTube, Kalev, Google and Estonian Public Broadcasting, and leaving far behind Apple, Samsung and Spotify. 

The fact that Smart-ID is highly appreciated by all users, is also illustrated by the high ratings in Apple, Google and Huawei app stores.

By no means is this the end of Smart-ID exciting story! It is merely the beginning of the future of secure authentication, internationally accepted digital signing, and tens of millions of users. Already in the near future, biometric registration possibilities will expand, and Smart-ID can be used with a smart watch. New exciting developments for Smart-ID are also influenced by the EU's planned digital wallet, or EUDIW. And surely Smart-ID will reach more and more people in near and far countries. This is just the beginning