EU intends to provide every citizen with a digital wallet

The European Union (EU) is preparing to roll out digital wallets for every citizen in a bid to establish the post-COVID ‘new normal’ of everyday finance

Although no firm date has been set so far, the EU has scheduled the release of a detailed plan on 2 June 2021. 

The widespread provision of digital wallets is being pitched as a necessity in a post-COVID world that has rapidly accelerated towards online services. The wallet itself would integrate biometric security and function as an easy method of payment for bills, municipal services, etc.

Early reports have made it clear that the wallet is not intended to be compulsory, although adopters will gain a secure and flexible payment tool, as well as a deposit for official documents.

Unlocking the digital economy

These new plans are reportedly part of a review of the EU’s extant electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS) regulation framework. So far, this system has not achieved widespread adoption across the union (19 out of 27), and those that have lack interoperability with the others.

Nonetheless, the hope among officials is that the pandemic period has sufficiently increased peoples’ engagement with digital payments tech that the new rollout will be more successful. Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner of digital policy, stated, “The new digital ID will give every European the keys to their digital twin.”

The ‘digital twin’ concept is not new, however its implications could be revolutionary for business. Digital twins are essentially data-based approximations of people, places, or things that can function as a predictive model for how that entity will behave in the future.

HSBC makes payments global

Although the EU’s project concerns only the 27 nations within the union, HSBC recently announced a Global Wallet that promises to make international business banking much more seamless. 

Citing the specific challenges of currency fluctuations between the two points of exchange, which can often leave merchants short-changed, the bank counteracts this by fixing exchange rates prior to payment and then accelerating the transaction like a POS store purchase. As such, money can be transferred cross-border in only minutes.

“HSBC Global Wallet makes it just as easy for our customers to deal with a supplier or a client on the other side of the world as it is to deal with one on the other side of town,” said Diane S Reyes, HSBC’s Global Head of Liquidity and Cash Management.


Clearly, digital wallets are becoming a fast, easy, and cost-effective method for payment on both the national and international market. At a time when money is becoming digitalised at a rapid rate, the eventual rollout of an equivalent plan to the EU’s is not out of the question.

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