G20 Officially Supports Global Digital ID


In this photo illustration a symbolic COVID-19 health passport seen on a smartphone screen.
(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


The 2023 G20 world leaders summit, which took place in India, has reached a consensus on the implementation of digital identification and digital currency, with both being declared official policy proposals. The G20 sees them as significant steps towards advancing financial inclusion and productivity gains through digital public infrastructure.

In the “G20 policy recommendations for advancing financial inclusion and productivity gains through digital public infrastructure” document, the term “digital ID” was mentioned 83 times, indicating its importance in the discussions. The document claims that “Digital IDs could further financial inclusion,” particularly in low-and middle-income countries where a lack of adequate documentation often poses a barrier to account ownership. The recommendation is for inclusive access rules for digital ID systems and reasonable costs for both public and private entities, which would encourage widespread adoption of these solutions.

The digital ID is considered part of a broader “Digital Public Infrastructure” that includes digital payments and data exchange in the financial sector. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, strongly advocated for digital ID, drawing parallels with the COVID-19 digital passport that has been adopted by 51 countries on four continents. She emphasized that digital public infrastructures must be trusted, interoperable, and open to all, acting as accelerators of growth.

The G20 policy proposal document cites a 2018 World Bank document on digital ID, describing it as necessary for full societal and economic participation. It underlies the ability to access basic services and entitlements, from healthcare to pensions and agriculture subsidies. Furthermore, the digital ID program aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, specifically the goal to ‘provide legal identity for all, including birth registration’ by 2030.


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