What is the difference between EU identity and EU wallet?

The Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS) regulation of the European Union (EU) defines two types of digital identities: eIDAS eID and qualified certificates (ZealiD belongs to the latter family). While eIDAS eID is a trusted electronic identification system that conforms to EU standards, qualified certificates are primarily used for e-signatures and are based on global ETSI standards.

To acquire an eIDAS eID, users must provide identification documents and go through a verification process to receive their eID via a public authority or trusted third party. Typically, eIDAS eIDs are issued in the form of chip-equipped identity cards or passports containing the regulated eIDAS eID, and must be activated and installed in smartphones for online authentication.

In contrast, the proposed eIDAS Wallet is a digital wallet that enables users to store and manage their digital identities, including their eIDAS eIDs, in one place. The eIDAS Wallet will rely on underlying eID schemes, such as eIDAS eID, to provide users with a means of identification for securely accessing and using online services across the EU.

It is important to note that the eIDAS Wallet does not address identity proofing, issuing, or maintenance problems, as users must obtain an eID from a trusted issuer before they can use the eIDAS Wallet.

In summary, eIDAS eID and eIDAS Wallet are both digital identities under the eIDAS regulation, with the former being an electronic identification system and the latter being a digital wallet that enables users to manage their eIDAS eIDs and other digital identities.