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As of 1 March, it will no longer be possible to access certain public e-services via a bank link

From 1 March, it will no longer be possible to log in to the state authentication service via a bank link. This means that the user will not be able to access some public e-services, such as the state portal, by using their bank PIN calculator, password, or biometrics. Online services can still be accessed by using an ID-card, Mobile-ID, or Smart-ID.

‘The change will not impact any private sector services – banking e-services can be accessed using a PIN calculator also after 1 March. In the state authentication service, bank links are most frequently used for logging in to the state portal, the online services of the Transport Administration, and the online services of the Information Technology Foundation for Education and of the population register,” said Mark Erlich, Head of the Electronic Identity Department of RIA.

‘Discontinuing the bank link support affects up to 7,000 people, approximately 4,000 people only log in via their banks. This accounts for approximately one per cent of all authentications in the state authentication service. The number of bank link users is not very high and there are three different methods for identifying oneself which do not involve using a bank link channel. It is important to understand that the bank link as a service will still be available,” said Erlich.

There were 1.85 million inquiries made in the state authentication service in October, 2.16 million in November, 2 million in December, and 2.4 million in January, of which approximately one percent (1.26%, 0.91%, 0.82%, and 0.74%, respectively) were made via a bank link.

Instead of using log in solutions based on bank links, ID-card, Mobile ID, or Smart-ID can also be used directly

A bank link is one of the channels which can be used for identifying oneself in online services. Estonian residents have an ID-card, which can be used for accessing online services, and the national Mobile-ID service is also available for this purpose. Further information about and instructions for using ID cards and Mobile-ID can be found in the following portal: ».

The private sector offers the Smart-ID service for identification. A smart device is required for using the service. Further information about using Smart-ID can be found on their website.

Why is RIA discontinuing the bank link support?

In the autumn of 2018, the latest eIDAS implementing act entered into force, pursuant to which residents of the European Union must be granted cross-border access to public sector online services via at least as strong eID solutions as those which are required from the citizens and residents of the respective country. Thus, it is important for the providers of public sector online services to know the assurance level of the eID instruments which they use to log into a specific service.

The eID instruments issued by the government in Estonia (ID-card and Mobile-ID) were considered to have a ‘high’ assurance level in 2018 and; in 2019, Smart-ID was also deemed to have a domestic ‘high’ level.

Via a bank link, it is also possible to use other instruments, which are mostly the own solutions developed by banks (PIN calculator, password, app, etc.). However, the assurance levels of such solutions have not been assessed and if those solutions were accepted in public service online services, the owner of the online service would also be required to accept the eID instruments of other EU member states which have been deemed at least ‘substantial’.

The state and local authorities using the state authentication service

Forty-nine public authorities with 215 information systems have joined the state authentication system, incl. the state portal, the education portal, the Transport Administration’s online service, the Tallinn City Government, the RIHA (the administration system for the state information system), eARIB, the register of construction works, the population register, the national register of roads, e-tootukassa (the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund), the Ministry of Rural Affairs, Kredex, the Government Office, the University of Tartu, the Riigikogu (the Parliament), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Statistics Estonia, eToetus (an online environment for structural funding), the Estonian National Social Insurance Board’s self-service, the national Patient Portal, the Examination Information System (EIS), the Estonian Research Information System, the Estonian Sports Register, the Auction Centre, etc.

In January 2021, a total of approximately 2.4 million inquiries were made in 210 services of forty-five authorities by using all means of authentication. Bank links were used for access on 17,680 occasions.

Seiko Kuik
Press Officer of the Information System Authority
5851 7028

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