Samsung Galaxy S20 will support electronic IDs in Germany

Credentials will be stored on the separate Secure Element chip.

Cherlynn Low/Engadget

Samsung has revealed that users in Germany will be able to store their electronic ID (eID) details on certain Galaxy devices starting later this year, beginning with the Galaxy S20 lineup. The company worked with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Bundesdruckerei (bdr) and Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH on a system that will allow citizens to store their National ID securely on their smartphone.

To enroll, citizens will need to download bdr’s Mobile ID application, which will be available later this year, via the Play Store. They can simply tap their NFC-enabled National ID card against the back of their phone. They’ll then be able to use those credentials to, for instance, use eGovernment services and open a bank account.

Once someone has enrolled, their eID will be transferred to a secure location on their device — the separate Secure Element (eSE) chip. Samsung says its S20 phones are its first mobile devices that comply with “the BSI’s eID security framework for sovereign use.” Citizens will have complete control over their data, the company claims, and it’ll be protected by the “highest level of encryption available.”

Germany has been working on eID and digital identity programs for some time. previously allowed residents to scan their ID cards into iOS 13 devices. People in Japan have also been able to scan ID cards that are equipped with NFC using an iPhone.

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