Finland has become the first country in the world to allow people to electronically authorize another person to make important decisions for them online.
SOME CITIZENS CANNOT USE DIGITAL SERVICES
The ability to act on behalf of another legal entity in terms of digital services increases digital productivity. Such systems make digital services available to those who are not able to use them themselves. The Finnish government designed Suomi.fi-e-Authorizations to enable digital services to be utilised by every citizen. The system was designed to minimise social exclusion in a digital society.
AUTHORIZATION MAKES DIGITAL SERVICES AVAILABLE TO ALL
Suomi.fi-e-Authorizations are free to use by public and private sector service providers, such as social and welfare, banking, insurance and IT services, as well as citizens. In short, it increases the credibility and security of electronic transactions, and bridges the public-private gap in provisioning and governance of services. This means that citizens who do not own a computer or have an internet connection, can still go to a service location (such as a tax office) and mandate another person to act on their behalf in chosen digital services. Suomi.fi-services are developed using flexible methods, adapting the principles of user-centric design in collaboration with end-users. Service providers, companies, and citizens are regularly involved in idea-generation and feature-prioritisation.
SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL AND SOCIAL BENEFITS
Using the Suomi.fi-e-Authorization tool significantly reduces service provider costs. The biggest savings are generated by the digitalisation of the official authentication process, which speeds up the verification of mandates and reduces the need for telephone calls and other manual work related to validating authorisation. For example, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland has estimated that allowing citizens to mandate others to use their digital services instead of visiting service locations saves up to EUR 6-10 per visit. Suomi.fi-e-Authorizations are very widely used and create both financial and social benefits for service providers and citizens alike. The service is built and shared as open-source and can be utilised by other countries and organisations to provide similar e-Authorization-services. During the Corona outbreak, the tool proved to be very useful. The ability to digitally mandate other people to pick up your medicines from any pharmacy in Finland is a great example of how digital mandates can also be used in physical transactions.
My motivation comes from the fact that the Suomi.fi-e-Authorization service really helps the everyday life of citizens as well as companies and other organizations when it comes to carrying out a wide variety of activities in e-services. The ability to give electronic mandates to someone else, to carry out your business on your behalf, saves a lot of time, increases flexibility, and creates trust and security. The service also enables people who do not have the means to access digital services themselves to give mandates to trusted people who then can use the digital services on their behalf.