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AMI Praha Through the bank to the office
Through the bank to the office

Through the bank to the office

On such a cold morning as today, Peter certainly didn’t feel like going anywhere. But there was a tax return to file. So he opened the website of the Tax Office on his tablet and, when prompted, logged in with his e-banking credentials. A message on the screen confirmed that he had successfully authenticated. He found the appropriate form and submitted his submission.

Before the system could process his application, he managed to take a call from his wife, Zdeňka. She reminded him of his expiring passport. He clicked through to the Citizen Portal to take care of the matter. He was done in 15 minutes. When Peter remembered how five years ago it had cost him a whole day of running, he had to smile. Today, he really wouldn’t want to go anywhere.

We can all imagine the benefits of digital communication between citizens and the state. As well as, for example, the streamlining of communication with service providers. However, there is one prerequisite for this: the unambiguous identification of the accessing user, i.e. the citizen.

At present, such a possibility is the acquisition of an ID card with a chip, which can be used to log in to, for example, the Citizen Portal (

This is due to the NIA and its eIdentity. In addition to the document itself, you need a card reader and the appropriate software. You then need to know your eID PIN to access the card itself. Today, the NIA enables citizen access to the electronic state agencies, and in the future, integration to European identity providers.

Another interesting possibility, which is emerging under the auspices of the Czech Banking Association within the project called SONIA, is the use of bank identity. This solution is based on a fundamentally simple premise: Since banking houses have a legal obligation to verify the identity of their clients, why not use this to uniquely identify a citizen? This solution is known as BankID and the institution of identity verification is thus transferred to the banks.

Both options are interesting and complement each other. The NIA and eIdentity still have a longer way to go – eIDs have only been issued for a year, and with a validity of 10 years, it may still take some time for its universal implementation. The BankID solution is able to bridge this gap. For the state and the citizen, this does not mean any extra cost. The only prerequisite will be an existing account with one of the banks involved in the project. However, it will also be of great benefit to the third parties involved – service providers who will be able to communicate with their existing and potential customers faster, cheaper and with less risk.

Author: Petr Gašparík works at AMI Praha as an IT security consultant and identity management specialist.

The text of the article was authorized by the Czech Banking Association –