In Part 1 of our series, we covered some simple case studies from the financial services sector and the logistics and trade sector. We looked at possible implementations of some eIDAS enabled tools and how companies can get the most mileage out of their investments into those tools. Today, we look at eCommerce – a sector that is no stranger to digital tools – and the professional services sector.

eCommerce,  e-tailing and eCargo

For an online retailer, the website storefront is the first thing that the customer sees. Having a Qualified Web Authentication Certificate (QWAC) ensures that the customer can trust the website that he is looking at. A QWAC will ensure that the customer does not have to worry about online threats like phishing that can steal their personal or financial data.

New call-to-actionOnce the customer is ready to place the order, his eID can help in verifying the address, age (in case it is an age restricted product) and other such relevant details. It can also help with matching the customer info with the billing information in case that is deemed necessary. Finally, once the product reaches the customer, he can use his Qualified Electronic Signature to confirm delivery of the product and an eTimeStamp is generated to confirm the time of the delivery and update it automatically on the retailer’s platform (see p. 26).

The transaction is thus completed with eIDAS enabled tools helping throughout the transaction. Not only does this eIDAS enabled process increase customer trust and security, it also helps in cutting costs, reducing delivery time and paperwork and ensuring a smoother and more seamless online shopping experience. And all of this happens without compromising on the essential security aspects like fraud detection or preventing phishing attempts.

Indeed this would require some important upgrades to the current logistics networks. But given that deliveries could be made (including in-between monitoring and checks) with strong probative value, it could disruptively enhance the complete supply chain and restrict contraband. Let us look at EU‘s ACC3 regulation as an illustrative example.

ACC3 stands for “Air Cargo or Mail Carrier operating into the Union from a Third Country Airport”. It requires a secure end-to-end supply chain for carriers flying cargo into or through the European Union. Applying eIDAS based signing to this (and integrating it into the standardized IATA e-Cargo process) would not only provide a standardized solution embedded into a suitable legal framework but would significantly speed up inbound and transient European traffic. Given the legal framework, not only small deliveries but also capital goods could travel under eIDAS‘ protective umbrella.

Professional Services

Professional services like accounting, legal services, IT support etc can benefit more than others from eIDAS enabled tools.  This is because of their somewhat more involved business processes and the need for multiple contracts, service level agreements and many other mandatory checks and regulatory requirements. However, eIDAS can simplify the process of in-country or cross border dissemination of professional services greatly.

The first step for a professional services provider like, say, a law firm would be to conduct the necessary Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering checks on their client. The client’s eID can help complete this process electronically without any hassles, even if he resides in a different EU member state.

The second step would involve the signing of the relevant documentation. All of this can be done digitally and an eSeal can only not prove the origin of such documents but also ensure their integrity, proving that nothing can be omitted or altered without proper authorization. The increased confidence in cross border service delivery from such tools is already becoming apparent. But the process doesn’t stop there. Tools like eSignatures and eTimeStamp can help complete the documentation on time and without the possibility of any unauthorized tampering.  

Conclusion

The sample case studies here barely scratch the surface of the enormous potential that eIDAS enabled tools can provide. Innovation, by definition, requires thinking out of the box and creating something new using existing technologies. It remains to be seen what innovative and creative new solutions and business processes entrepreneurs and start-ups can come up with in the coming years with these powerful tools that eIDAS is providing to them.

 

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References and Further Reading

Image: Looks like my toolbox.1, courtesy of alh1 Münster LWL Museum - Kunst und Kultur , Contemporary Art, Gallery 2, Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

 

 

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