In 2017 some of Belgium’s biggest banks and telecom players joined forces to launch Itsme. With the tool, they want to be the Belgian benchmark in mobile ID and privacy in the digital world. Just a few years later more than 1.000.000 Belgians use Itsme to log in or to sign documents.
Until recently, millions of Belgians had to use a physical card reader to sign official documents or log in on the online platforms of the government. Thanks to itsme, they can do this with a mobile application that asks a pin code or fingerprint. Itsme was looking for a partner with hands-on experience with the development of mobile applications to take the tool to the next level. That’s where In The Pocket comes in!
The previous version of the mobile application had a fairly complex onboarding. We are making this more streamlined by implementing various interventions. In this way, we make new users clearer what Itsme exactly is and we help them through the onboarding process by explaining every step. For instance, users used to get a simple error message when they entered a too simple pin code, while we now clearly present the requirements in advance. In the end, the application has just one goal: proving that you’re the one you’re claiming to be.
To create an effortless user experience, we’re still improving the flow of the whole app. As a strategic partner of Itsme, we’re exploring future use cases that can be implemented. We’re not only working on product roadmaps, but also co-exploring future strategic opportunities which will, in turn, feed the product roadmap.
By doing this, we help Itsme in its goal to become a low-tier off-the-shelf integration solution. One of our ways to achieve this, is by creating proof of concepts that can convince future partners. When we started working on the project it could take months to implement itsme, now we can do it in half a day.
To ascertain how these integrations proceeds, we have mapped out the as is by creating our own integration as a test. Originally, someone integrating with Itsme needed to become a craftsperson in the inner workings of the underlying system. That implies all the technical details and nitty gritty of the security constraints and implementations done to ensure a trusted connection and data exchange between three parties (the user, partner and itsme itself).
This resulted in a lot of assistance during the process which caused it to take up multiple months as people got blocked due to not having the required expertise (they had to build that along the way). Not only was this a burden for anyone looking to add a “Login with Itsme” button to their service, it also took up a lot of time at Itsme to assist in these integrations.
The solution was to abstract the logic away into two toolsets. One is the configuration part, where a Yeoman powered generator assist you in setting up the required assets, the second one is a developer portal that hosts a multitude of language specific packages you can use to integrate with Itsme. The last ones make it so that integration can be done with two lines of code, without the need to understand the inner workings. This makes integrating with Itsme as simple as adding a button to your website.
To reduce maintenance to a minimum, the packages are built from the same core logic while still maintaining their specific environment look and feel. Developers consuming the package on platform A and B will not get the impression it shares the same basis, which is important if we want people to feel comfortable integrating with Itsme. For more information, feel free to have a look at the implementation as we made it completely open source.
As an identification platform, itsme is faced two-sided marketplace. On the one hand, they have gathered enough users to be relevant for other platforms to be included as a login option. On the other hand, they need to offer enough partnerships to their users to be considered as an identification platform that’s useful enough. It is a vicious circle, and we’re eager to enlarge that circle.
To face this challenge, itsme needed to localize for which identification cases it paid off to sign up for an itsme account rather than using a card reader. These were their acquisition channels. Next they need to grow the supply side so users keep seeing the benefit of their signup with itsme. We can’t wait to see what’s next!