A new study from Juniper Research has found that the number of digital identity apps in use will exceed 6.2 billion in 2025, from just over 1 billion in 2020.
The research found that civic ID apps, where government-issued identities are held in an app, will account for almost 90% of digital identity apps installed globally in 2025; driven by the increasing use of civic ID in emerging markets and the lasting impact of the pandemic.
The report identified that the unprecedented shift to digital services during the pandemic across the world will stimulate rapid growth in civic identity; growing by 467% between 2020 and 2025, as robust onboarding and verification for digital services become vital.
Civic apps to overtake digital identity card use in 2023
The new research, Digital Identity: Technology Evolution, Regulatory Landscape & Forecasts 2020-2025, found that civic identity apps will overtake the number of digital identity cards in use in 2023, with the number of apps in use 41% higher than cards by 2025.
While ID cards are still growing, the research shows that apps are much easier to scale, and better support increased involvement in digital commerce, which will be critical to digital identity’s future use.
Research co-author Nick Maynard explains: ‘Civic ID apps have come into their own as a way to boost digital financial participation, particularly in emerging economies. Post-pandemic, this capability will be crucial in enabling increased digital engagement.’
Blockchain important to securing identity networks
The research found that blockchain will be important to the future of digital ID, with blockchain-based third-party digital identity apps accounting for 16% of all installed third-party identity apps in 2025.
However, this is not necessarily the much-lauded self-sovereign model, where numerous parties such as banks, identity providers and mobile network operators work together to provide identity as a part of a wider network. Blockchain will be an effective way to secure federated access to data; injecting trust and transparency.