National digital Identity and legally binding e-signatures based on Mobile-ID technology branded “Asan Imza” from the Republic of Azerbaijan
This case was submitted as part of the Call for Innovations, an annual partnership initiative between OPSI and the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI)
Asan Imza is the world’s fastest growing national digital identity in the form of Mobile-ID, which is secure, trusted and issued by the government of Azerbaijan. Based on PKI (a public key infrastructure) it is an irreplaceable tool empowering across all sectors, from public to private, including financial institutions and Mobile Network Operators, allowing to digitally verify your identity and create signatures equal to handwritten counterparts, regulated by law.
Asan Imza fully follows KYC (know your customer) international requirements. The system has been used for more than 70 million transactions, while the e-signature platform connects 52 countries.
Secure and robust technology is applied, as the identity is embedded on a mobile phone sim-card through certificates, constituting as a document equal to a national passport or physical ID-card in the electronic environment. Highest security standards are in place, surpassing all required international requirements (the highest level of assurance). Mobile-ID works perfectly on a smartphone and a traditional mobile phone equally. The main purpose of this innovative technology is to empower citizens making life easy, convenient and less bureaucratic in a secure and trusted manner. Asan Imza has changed the e-service delivery concept in Azerbaijan, where it is effectively used for provision of both public and private electronic services.
The revolutionary technology is here to simplify and secure the way to carry out transactions online anywhere, anytime just with a mobile phone inserting PIN codes and we can proudly state that the system has operated without any breaches in security.
We are on track eliminating bureaucracy in our lives, that does not produce meaningful value and providing freedom to move towards desired goals by focusing on core activities.
Identity is the cornerstone of all legal interaction between people, businesses and the state. A person’s ability to prove who they are is a prerequisite to signing contracts, conducting banking, accessing government services and performing countless other transactions.
All diplomatic missions and consulates of the country are empowered to issue mobile Residency- electronic certificates of mobile ID (Asan İmza) to foreign citizens all over the world willing to conduct business in Azerbaijan or investing in the economy of this country.
This project is a key enabler for accountability and governance - we can’t hold someone’s wealth in an account without knowing who they are; we can’t conduct transactions without being sure of the counter parties. It is a prerequisite for a functioning economy, as establishing identity is foundational for economic, social and political opportunity. It is a fundamental human right - the United Nations recognizes identity as a fundamental human right and has included “providing a legal identity for all, including birth registration, by 2030” as one of its Sustainable Development Goals (UN target. 16.9)
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Asan Imza (Mobile-ID) digital identification is a principal part of a modern Azerbaijan that is focused on building a fully digital economy based on human capital. It’s a crucial solution for the citizen to continuously and seamlessly reap social benefits on a daily basis.
The private sector is experiencing increased operational capability in carrying out formerly bureaucratic tasks related to running a company, resulting in freeing up resources to better serve its business objectives. As for the government, it allows to manage its country securely and safely in the right direction moving faster ahead of others due to direct impact of collecting real-time information about economic data, making decisions precise and accurate.
Other benefits are protection of the environment as it decreases the use of paper and transportation massively. Since the launch, more than 700,000 Mobile ID certificates have been issued for satisfied citizens with more than 70 million transactions.
What is the current status of your innovation?
We are currently experiencing leaping growth in the number of transactions for Mobile-ID and m-signatures in the Republic of Azerbaijan, as more citizens are using it to access governmental and private services easily and securely via electronic channels. This is helping to digitize the economy and create a knowledge society based on innovation and strong digital skills that will help to speed up the countries development is the general term. Our environment is going digital and so are our identities. For our citizens to benefit from this, we are providing a solution that works in well-developed areas and also at rural areas with limited access to internet and low computer literacy. We are decreasing the social and technological inclusion to foster a stronger nation that is always connected to its government. Working together with the governmental officials to address all issues that we could solve with technology.
Collaborations & Partnerships
We have local and international partners that with whom today we are in the midst of successful bilateral partnerships, with a number of companies ranging in the MENA, Asian and Sub-Saharan region to launch Mobile-ID ecosystems based on our technology, system architecture and business models.
We continuously collaborate with governmental structures, banks, insurance companies, MNO's.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Government corporate customers and individuals who wish to benefit from the functionality provided on the portal.
• Mobile-ID Service Provider (B.EST Solutions)
• Mobile Operators (Azercell, Azerfon, Bakcell)
• End-user Service Providers
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
Ministry of Taxes: over 90% of tax declarations are submitted electronically using Asan Imza for digital identification and signature (in total around 400 000 taxpayers).
Ministry of Labor: Uses Asan Imza to sign all labor e-contracts (more than 2 million) digitally in order to have complete transparency in the labor market with direct benefit on the country’s economy. All major banks use Asan Imza to digitally identify their customers in a secure manner, thus eliminating financial losses from cybercriminals and making KYC and AML compliancy 's easier to follow.
The potential impact for the government is an estimated saving of 2% GDP per year.
Challenges and Failures
E-environment of Azerbaijan is not yet streamlined: usage of traditional usernames/passwords and other unsecure authentication methods should be eliminated in favor of mobile and e-ID as strong authentication tools.
Existence of multiple certification centers is not an efficient mechanism for the overall development of e-government; the best practice is to have a single certification center for all digital ID instruments used in the country.
Using of one unified key of identity will stimulate rapid development of e-government, simplify usage of e-services for the population and significantly improve e-literacy of the population.
Conditions for Success
The main condition is the will and interest of the public and private sector to truly put forward actions that will lead to results. In Azerbaijan we have been proud to state that the leaders in the public and private sector have mutually fostered conditions in where the solutions has been able to grow and reach a big significant part of the citizens.
Of course in general terms we need supporting infrastructure such as mobile networks and some kind of electronic services whether is its even a simple call center. We need policy and rules to regulate that the solutions provides safely the benefits it holds and is used accordingly to the law.
We have learned that the public and private sector play a great deal in the success of reaching a full digital transformation of a society. People in general are slow adapters and it requires a strong co-ordination and a strong push in a certain direction among leaders to achieve tangible results within people.