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Mobile certificates are worth using – The rapid advance of digitalisation highlights the importance of trustworthy identification

Publication date 21.11.2018 9.00
Press release

The Population Register Centre has tendered the strong identification trust network for processing identification for public government digital services and made agreements with banks on the use of banking codes as an identification tool. Through these agreements, citizens will in future be able to sign into public government digital services using a mobile certificate or banking codes. In addition, it will be possible to sign into services using the Citizen Certificate on personal identity cards issued by the police.

Telia was selected as partner company for processing identification with mobile certificates and Osuuspankki was selected for banking code identification.

“The agreement on using mobile certificates for identification is part of a broader package of identification solutions. The agreement made with Telia involves agreement on the processing of Telia, Elisa and DNA mobile certificates and Osuuspankki banking codes. Finns sign in using e-Identification to hundreds of different services, with a total of around 100 million sign-ins per year. The identification transactions processed by Telia cover around 38% of e-Identifications The services for which e-Identifications are most commonly used for signing in are,, and health services for cities and municipalities”, explains Timo Salovaara, the Population Register Centre’s Director of Service Provision.

“This is the first significant agreement which is based on the operations of the state’s trust network. Through this agreement, the state will achieve significant cost savings and smoother services”, states Mika Loukola, Telia’s Business Manager.

Growing use of mobile certificates

Telia’s Mika Loukola estimates that the use of mobile certificates for digital identification will grow rapidly in coming years. He forecasts that usage will rise from the current level of 4% to nearly 10% within two years.

“As the use of digital services grows, it is sensible for people to make use of several alternative methods for identification in order to cover different possible situations”, Loukola emphasises. 

“For consumers, a mobile certificate is an easy, quick and safe identification method because it works on all phones and is available to all. The user does not therefore need to have a smart phone, as the mobile certificate also works with simpler phone models. The mobile certificate is located in the phone’s SIM card and it works with Telia, Elisa and DNA connections. The user needs only to contact their own operator and make the agreement to start using a mobile certificate. In addition, a mobile certificate is by far the cheapest way for service providers to offer trustworthy identification for digital services”, Loukola argues.

Telia’s hope is that the processing also of other banks’ identification tools will be part of the procurement agreement when the next procurement period comes round. In this case, the Population Register Centre would not need to make separate agreements, but instead identification could all be handled easily through one system. This would also further decrease the costs for the state.

“The world is rapidly moving towards a situation where it is natural for businesses and communities to handle their affairs using one single company which processes all identification transactions. As a large operator, Telia is able to offer, even before the end of this year, strong identification services both for Finland as well as other Nordic countries and Baltic states as well, and the growth certainly doesn’t stop there”, Loukola adds.

Timo Salovaara, the Population Register Centre’s Director of Service Provision, explains that the Population Register Centre is currently exploring the options for how best to organise public government digital services after 2020, when the current agreements will come to an end.

“The purpose of the report is to identify the need and methods for updating our identification infrastructure to respond to current opportunities and demands. At the same time, we want to ensure that the identification solutions in use in the future are as accessible and easy-to-use as possible for all users.”

“As part of the report, we will also be examining how we could add to our range of digital identification tools an identification method which could be used by foreigners. This need is particularly present for countries that remain outside the scope of the European Union’s eIDAS directive and thus, for example, for persons that have neither a Finnish personal identification number nor an identification tool issued by a state that is within the scope of the eIDAS directive. The report is due to be completed by January 2019”, Salovaara adds.

Additional information

Population Register Centre, Director Timo Salovaara, tel: +358 (0)29 553 5303, firstname.lastname[at]

Telia,  Business Manager  Mika Loukola, tel: +358 (0)40 302 2238, mika.loukola[at]