Credit: Electronic Transactions Development Agency, Thailand

Credit: Electronic Transactions Development Agency, Thailand

ETDA Thailand initiates National Digital ID project to promote online transactions

Recently, the Thailand Government revealed that it is initiating a National Digital ID project to promote digital transactions for the public as well as the private sector.

ETDA Director, Ms Surangkhana Wayuparp said that the system is part of the government’s national digital ID project to verify the identity of individuals and corporations when receiving various services from both the public and private sectors. The system will reduce the complexity of online transactions and increase speed and convenience with high security. Initially, the system will be used between government units and companies which share information, such as the Revenue Department and insurance companies.   

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society which is responsible for developing, promoting and supporting electronic transactions in Thailand, has entered into a cooperative partnership with Japanese venture-backed payments startup, Omise, for the project. Omise is currrently operating in Thailand, Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia.

The National Digital ID Platform is an intermediary and open infrastructure that provides online service providers (Relaying Party) with standardised ways to identify and authenticate their subscribers or customers using existing digital identifications. Then the Platform would allow the customers or subscribers to access a variety of services remotely.

Examples of digital identifications could include user accounts on the governmental services, such as the Revenue Department (RD) and the Department of Business Development (DBD), Internet Banking accounts and e-Wallet accounts.

ETDA is the primary governmental organisation responsible for the development and management of the Federation Proxy. The Federation Proxy, which is part of the Digital ID Platform, is a component that acts as a bridge for connecting the components in digital ID ecosystem together with an interoperable authentication protocol. The protocol is designed to be open-standard and offer strong security for integrating and communicating among different components in an ecosystem.

The digital ID architecture will have three major components. First is the ‘Identity Provider’ (IdP), which is the party that provides subscriber authenticating services in order to process a transaction or grant access to information or a system. The IdP must ensure service conformity to the standard Levels of Assurance (LoA) for identity proofing and authentication.

The second component is the ‘Relying Party’ (RP). This refers to the entity that is relying upon the digital identity issued by an IdP. The RPs should assess their own business risk and choose an appropriate set of IdPs, which can provide assurance level corresponding to result of risk assessment.

The final component is the ‘Authoritative Source’, an entity that has access to, or verified copies of, accurate information from an issuing source such that IdP can confirm the validity of the identity evidence supplied by a subscriber during identity proofing.

Eight parties have already joined the first phase of this project: 1)Revenue Department; 2) Student Loan Fund; 3) Thailand Securities Depository Company Limited; 4) Thai Bankers' Association; 5) Association of Thai Securities Companies; 6) The Thai Life Assurance Association; 7) Thai General Insurance Association; and 8) National Credit Bureau.

Bangkok Post reported that the project has been allocated a budget of 100 million Baht for the first year. Ms Wayuparb was quoted saying, “ETDA aims for at least 10,000 people to adopt the national digital ID system through digital transactions for greater assurance of online activities.” 

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