Apple announced that its forthcoming mobile operating system will let Apple devices store driver’s licenses and state IDs for participating states to its Wallet app. Consumers will be able to use the digital identity cards, which will be encrypted, at airport security checkpoints and potentially other locations. Apple also bolstered Wallet’s technology to improve the experience of storing and using digital keys to unlock cars, homes, offices, and hotel rooms.
Adding digital IDs may be part of a broader effort to attract users—and spend—by expanding Wallet’s and Apple Pay’s functionalities.
Apple may also face serious competition from a digital ID wallet being developed by the EU. The EU’s wallet will be able to store documents like driver’s licenses and help users take actions like opening a bank account. This may make it harder for Apple’s new identification efforts to take off if they’re rolled out in the EU because consumers may prefer to store official documents on a government-backed platform. It could face similar difficulties in the US if Washington tried to develop a wallet, but Apple’s established relationships with millions of customers and Apple Pay users could help it compete with any federal effort.