The Role of Mobile IDs in Payments
The Role of Mobile IDs in Payments

Publication Date: July 2024

Executive Summary

Digital identities refer to the electronic representation of personally identifying information that may be used to verify the identity of a person, encompassing a collection of information, attributes, and credentials that establish and verify a person’s identity in online interactions and transactions. Mobile representations of government issued identification are referred to as mobile IDs or mIDs.

Mobile drivers’ licenses, or mDLs, are a sub-category of mIDs that contain the same information as a physical driver’s license and can be used to verify one’s identity and driving eligibility in various situations, such as traffic stops, car rentals, or age-restricted purchases.

While the earlier implementations of mIDs were rather limited in functionality, there is a global effort for more advanced approaches that would address some of the limitations of the physical forms of government-issued IDs. The goal is to offer enhanced security, with strong cryptographic authentication of the mID, as well as interoperability and improvements in terms of privacy for the identity holder.

Mobile-based digital identity offers tremendous opportunities for combatting fraud and securing transactions, while offering the mID holder control over their personal data and the convenience of having their ID on their phone.

This white paper examines how government-issued mobile IDs, which include mDLs, can be leveraged in the payments ecosystem, both today and in the future as well as in-store and online, including examples of where digital identities and digital payment acceptance can potentially converge.

This paper also provides an overview of the acceptance of mID transactions compliant with the 2021 ISO/IEC 18013-5 standard, which defines the technical and functional requirements for mDLs and mDL readers and focuses on in-person use cases, and introduces the draft ISO/IEC 18013-7 standard, in which mDL identity verification could be leveraged in online commerce and open new possibilities for remote verification of mIDs in the payment industry.


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