The smartphone is increasingly a ubiquitous presence in our lives, having rapidly transitioned from communications device to portable online hub, driving trends such as m-shopping and m-banking as well as putting entertainment and social networking at our fingertips, anytime, anywhere.
But the smartphone still has lots more to offer. Just as NXP played an integral part in creating the first wave of mobile technology, we’re now driving the next evolution in smartphone functionality: eGov and ID applications. In a recent white paper around this subject, which looks into the development and roadmap for government-issued documents such as passports and ID cards becoming available on smartphones in the very near future.
So, what are the benefits?
Well, people currently hold multiple different cards and government-issued documents at any one time, and often leave them at home when identification is required. Having a copy of, for instance, your ID card or driving license stored on your phone provides a new levels of flexibility and convenience.
For mobile eGov applications to become a reality, smart phones must have adequate security and the ability to communicate with contactless ID cards and passport readers. The majority of major smartphone manufacturers now implement secure NFC technology into their devices, but there are still significant challenges persuading consumers to store important ID credentials on one device. Yet considering how embedded the mobile device has become in our lives over the past few years, we believe that this level of trust will generally be established in the not too distant future. We also believe that secure microcontrollers – which already underpin many of the world’s eGov smartcard systems – will play a key role in making this happen.