In Part 1 of our article, we briefly summarised the challenges faced in the uptake of eIDAS services for SMEs. A recent study conducted for the European Commission found that awareness and lack of resources were the main barriers. Efforts to highlight the benefits of eIDAS services through real-life case studies was also found to be lacking. In order to address these barriers to adoption, certain recommendations were made which are summarised below.
Spreading the Word
The recommendations made by the report mainly revolve around enhancing communication and information dissemination. These include:
- Updated training materials which should be available in multiple EU languages
- More case studies, including sector specific examples. We have also covered some sectors in brief on this blog, including:
- Financial services, Logistics
- eCommerce, eTailing, eCargo, Professional Services
- And many articles covering domestic and international trade: Case Study – Fully digital trade transactions, eIDAS and Trade Finance, 5 ways eIDAS is Boosting the Digitization of Trade, International Trade – Building Trust with eIDAS
- Using partners like SME associations and service providers to act as intermediate links to spread awareness. This is essentially a precursor to the hub and spoke model that we touched upon in our previous article.
- Other initiatives like webinars, interactive tools, infographics, preparation of course material covering the basics, videos, guidebooks and so on.
- Using social media to spread awareness and creating a discussion space for related topics like the eIDAS Observatory.
Sector Specific Successes
The study noted that they found that the interest from certain sectors was noticeably higher. Service providers and participants from the financial services sector were especially interested, and this was reflected in the numbers during webinars, workshops and the use of the interactive tool. This may be attributed to a number of reasons, but the focus should be to replicate the success witnessed here in other sectors as well.
For instance, the benefits that eIDAS provides for performing quick and painless KYCs for the financial services sector might be equally useful for professional service providers as well. They just need to be made aware of the potential time and cost savings. As another example, the benefit of eTimeStamps for the logistics and eCommerce sector should be apparent as well. There is no reason adoption here should be lower than in other sectors.
Understanding and addressing pain points
SMEs rightly focus more on on-the-ground implementation rather than on lofty concepts or ideas which exist only on paper. Therefore, in order to reach SMEs, service providers and EU agencies have to first identify and then address their specific pain points. For example, an online commerce business would immediately be interested in a solution that can help them detect, reduce or eliminate fraud rather than a generic “enhanced security” pitch. These pain points may even differ from country to country which is why a distributed hub and spoke model for spreading awareness might be more effective than a centralised repository.
At the end of the day though, the key to cracking the SME market is establishing trust. Any moves made towards that direction will undoubtedly lead to greater adoption and make the whole imitative a success.
References and Further Reading
- Benefits of the eIDAS Toolbox – Case Studies from Various Industries (Part 1) (2018), by Gaurav Sharma
- Benefits of the eIDAS Toolbox – Case Studies from Various Industries (Part 2) (2018), by Gaurav Sharma
- Digital Trade and Trade Financing - Embracing and Shaping the Transformation (2018), by SWIFT & OPUS Advisory Services International Inc
- REGULATION (EU) No 1316/2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010(12/2013), by the European Parliament and the European Council
- Selected articles on Electronic Signing and Digital Signatures (2014-today), by Ashiq JA, Gaurav Sharma, Guillaume Forget, Jan Kjaersgaard , Peter Landrock, Torben Pedersen, Dawn M. Turner, and more
- Selected articles on Authentication (2014-today), by Heather Walker, Luis Balbas, Guillaume Forget, Jan Kjaersgaard, Dawn M. Turner and more
- eIDAS webinar 1: Using electronic Identification, Authentication and trust Services for Business (2018), by the European Commission
- The European Interoperability Framework - Implementation Strategy (2017), by the European Commission
- Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (2016), by the European Commission
- REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (2016), by the European Parliament and the European Council
Proposal for a REGULATION concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications and repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications), (2017), by the European Parliament and the European Council
- Revised Directive 2015/2366 on Payment Services (commonly known as PSD2) (2015), by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union
- REGULATION (EU) No 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC (2014) by the European Parliament and the European Commission
DIRECTIVE 2013/37/EU amending Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information (2013) by the European Parliament and the Council