IATE Term of the Week: Digital Wallet


The coronavirus pandemic was a catalyst leading to the prevalence of digital technologies in our daily lives. The European Commission intends to expand a range of digital services for citizens, residents, and businesses by implementing a digital wallet. The digital wallet will serve as a tool to prove identity, access public and private services, add and store personal data and official documents in electronic format, accepted in all Member States.

Digital wallet is a part of a framework for a European Digital Identity. During the pandemic, the necessity to recognise papers among 27 Member States arose. While looking for a mechanism allowing to minimise paperwork, the idea of creating the digital wallet emerged. The digital wallet will comprise all necessary data in one application. Thus, with the implementation of the new digital wallet application cross-border bureaucracy will not be an issue anymore. “The European digital identity will enable us to do in any Member State as we do at home without any extra cost and fewer hurdles”, said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age.

Big platforms, such as Facebook or Google, will be obliged to accept the digital wallet. The Commission aims to enabling people to decide what personal information they want to share with third parties. It will be ensured that only the data that needs to be shared will be shared.

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What can you do with a digital wallet?

Public and private services will be available through the application. The digital wallet can be used for:

•           opening a bank account

•           enrolling in a college abroad

•           signing apartment leases

•           requesting birth certificates

•           requesting medical certificates

•           declaring a change of residence

•           paying utility bills

•           storage of payment details and passwords

•           reserving a hotel

•           renting a car

•           applying for a bank loan

How to get a digital wallet?

All Member States will provide the citizens and residents with the wallet. Everyone will have the possibility to download the wallet on their smartphone or another device. According to the European Commission’s proposal, EU citizens will be able to sign up for the digital wallet on a voluntary basis. The rollout of the digital wallet is planned for 2022.


European Commission. 2021. Commission proposes a trusted and secure Digital Identity for all Europeans. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_2663 [Accessed 10 June 2021].

European Commission. 2021. Commission proposes trusted and secure Digital Identity for all Europeans – Questions and Answers. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_21_2664 [Accessed 10 June 2021]

European Commission. 2021. European Digital Identity. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/european-digital-identity_en [Accessed 10 June 2021].

Deutsche Welle. 2021. EU unveils plan for new digital ID wallet. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.dw.com/en/eu-unveils-plan-for-new-digital-id-wallet/a-57769145 [Accessed 10 June 2021].

Financial Times. 2021. EU set to unveil digital wallet fit for post-Covid life. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/0080a5ed-4717-4ba3-9415-111b6fc82dcf [Accessed 10 June 2021].

Written by Olena Khomiakova, Schuman Communication Trainee Terminology Coordination Unit. Currently she is enrolled as a Master student in Learning and Communications in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts at the University of Luxembourg.