“Doing international business on line isn’t simply a question of getting your website translated.”
Kick Willemse, Co-Founder of Evidos Ondertekenen.nl and an expert on digital signatures and online identity. His organisation helps businesses with the digital processing and validation of commercial transactions.
“Since the eIDAS legislation came in, public sector bodies have been working hard to enable people and organisations from other European countries to access their services,” says Kick. “The business community has been operating on line and interacting with clients in other countries much longer, of course. And that implies much more than simply making information and services available in English. Nevertheless, in practice, companies still tend to focus on their local markets. That’s partly down to having the scope to operate and grow within a domestic context. However, it also reflects the fact that cross-border transactions are generally complicated by administrative and regulatory differences.
On-line business can be quick, convenient and secure
Also, when it comes to identification and authentication, businesses face a choice between two options that both have drawbacks. The first option is a paper process involving forms and copies of passports. That’s time-consuming, insecure and error-prone, due to manual data entry and transfer. The alternative is to speed things up by being less thorough with your identity checks and taking more on trust. But, of course, that increases the security risk.
eIDAS is good for everyone
All those factors get in the way of international commerce. By harmonising technology, systems and regulatory regimes, you make it much easier — and therefore much more attractive — for businesses to operate internationally. With eIDAS, I see a future where it’s possible to do international business on line conveniently and securely, without investing huge amounts of time and money in technology and processes, and without compromising on security. That’s good for everyone: businesses, public sector bodies and the man and woman in the street.”