The Irish government has worked on implementing an ambitious strategy for public digitization, since May last year. The strategy involves, among other things, an implementation of digital post, and for that job Ireland has chosen e-Boks as the supplier.
Number of Irish citizens who have a MyGovID (eID) – equivalent to the Danish NemID.
The potential in Ireland is at the same level as a public digital post in Denmark, tells Søren Thiel who is Product Manager in e-Boks with the managing role in the implementation of the digital post in Ireland.
In the following, he gives an insight into the preparations of the implementation process of digital post in Ireland.
- This is the first time that Ireland tries to execute a digital post solution. Therefore, there is a great amount of preparations to be done, before the actual implementation can begin. We performed a set of tests before Christmas to ensure that the solution was ready to go and that it functioned as intended, tells Søren Thiel.
Unlike in Denmark, the Irish solution won’t be mandatory. This means that the Irish citizens can choose if or not they want to receive digital post from the public authorities.
A two-step process
The first step of the implementation is to get the Irish authorities onboard with the solution. Then follows the citizens.
- The Irish government is trying to persuade the public authorities, by showing them both the possibilities and the potential of a digital post solution. The second step of the process is onboarding the Irish citizens as soon as the public authorities have implemented the solution, tells Søren Thiel.
It’s important that the citizens experience that they are rewarded for choosing our solution, and this won’t be possible before the authorities get on board and offer a range of relevant services.
- The ambition is therefore to send out as much communication via digital post as possible, to make sure that the citizens experience the advantages that come with a more efficient and safe communication with the authorities, he says.
The plan is that the authorities have to be on board within the first six months of 2020.
From manual to digital behavior
Ireland is the first country outside of Scandinavia to which e-Boks will deliver a public digital post solution. Compared to Denmark, Ireland isn’t as far in the process of digitizing public services.
- It’s a job in itself to change the Irish citizens behavior into being more digital in their communication with public authorities. Most communication between citizens and public authorities is manual, either by physical meetings or via old school letters, says Søren Thiel.
Initially, they focus on onboarding the 650,000 Irish citizens who have a MyGovID (eID) – equivalent to the Danish NemID. The Irish citizens can choose whether or not they want to use MyGovID. This is different from Denmark, where the use of NemID and digital post is decided by law.
An international platform
The solution delivered to Ireland supports the common European standards like eDelivery and eIDAS. This makes it easier for both citizens, companies and public authorities to exchange data across borders.
- In the Nordic countries, we take for granted that all citizens have an electronic ID. This is far from the reality in the rest of the world. Therefore, our international platform is built to support countries in their specific ways of digitization. As a result of that, we’ve developed alternative login mechanisms, which we can use to identify users, who don’t have an electronic ID, he says.
Interest from other countries
Since e-Boks won the tender in Ireland, the interest in e-Boks’ solutions has grown internationally. e-Boks still receives a number of requests and has ongoing dialogues with a range of countries.
- We can’t say whether or not the deal with Ireland has had an effect on the incoming requests from other countries. But Ireland is of course a reference which we will use in our international growth. And the deal with Ireland has provided us with experience about how to engage such deals with countries outside of the North, tells Søren Thiel.
- For more than 20 years, we have helped public authorities and businesses securely digitise their communication flows.
- We proudly provide the governments of Denmark, Greenland, Norway, Sweden and Ireland with national digital post solutions.
- Well-renowned international banks, insurance companies and energy service providers have chosen to use the e-Boks platform instead of pursuing their own solutions.