itsme® figures for 2022
The number of users of the itsme® identity app continued to grow in 2022. In the space of one year, 700,000 new itsme® accounts were added, representing a growth of 11%. Today, 6.7 million Belgians are using the itsme® app – and they are doing so with remarkable frequency: 47 actions per person per year on average, or almost 1 per week.
Although the figures point to increasing digital awareness and trust among the Belgian population, there is still a large digital divide in our country. Which is why itsme® continues to invest in digital inclusion in Belgian society.
The figures for 2022: the year of the break-even
itsme® has been Belgium’s most popular app for some time already – yet the annual figures for 2022 demonstrate that there is still room for growth. In fact, between January and December, itsme® added another 700,000 accounts, bringing the total number of itsme® users in Belgium to 6.7 million. That was a year-on-year rise of 11%. Today, 80% of Belgian adults aged between 16 and 74 have an itsme® account1
itsme® also continued to work on improving its reach and accessibility in 2022. For example, underage Belgians aged 16 and 17 can now create an itsme® account. And blind and visually impaired users have also benefited from a more accessible iOS version of the itsme® app since last year.
Actions and signatures
In total, Belgians carried out 315 million actions with the itsme® app last year. That’s an average of 47 actions per itsme® user per year, or almost 1 action a week. This represents a 35% growth in the number of actions compared with 2021, which was a record year at the time.
Belgians are also using itsme® more often for their digital signatures. In 2022, the company recorded 1 million signatures with itsme® Sign, which has the same legal value as a handwritten signature. That was a remarkably sharp increase of 135% – more than double the number from the previous year. This upward movement is likely to continue in the future, too, with itsme® launching its batch signing feature in December 2022, which enables you to sign multiple documents at once with a single click. This function significantly reduces the administrative burden for companies and signatories. Moreover, itsme® Sign has now also been incorporated into all the major European and international signature platforms, which will speed up growth even more.
itsme® remains the most popular login method on government websites, but also the number of partners in the private sector is increasing each year, with more than 900 companies already using itsme®. With its strong growth in the private sector itsme® has been able to generate additional revenues and delivered stronger financial results in 2022. More than five years after its launch, the itsme® identity app is now breaking even in Belgium. This also demonstrates the longer-term sustainability of the itsme® business model – something that is not always a straightforward task for young technology companies.
Digital inclusion: the societal role of itsme®
As a digital identity app, itsme® plays an important role in society – and this is an area in which the company will continue to invest strongly. This is by no means an unnecessary luxury, as there is still a yawning digital divide in Belgium. The latest Digital Inclusion Barometer from the King Baudouin Foundation indicates that nearly half of all Belgians (46%) have no or low digital skills. This barometer is based on Flemish, Walloon and Federal statistics.
But if so many Belgians (80%) have an itsme® app, why does the digital divide in our country remain so large? The 2022 Digital Barometer indicates that people increasingly need good digital skills to go online in a way that is both informed and safe. Not only are they facing a growing number of digital applications and other features, but security and privacy requirements are also increasing, which in turn adds more complexity. The use of smartphones is another area of concern: people who have low digital skills make less use of a laptop (30%) than they do a smartphone (72%), whereas the more technical applications – such as writing texts, saving files, filling in forms and so on – can’t be accessed on a smartphone. As a result, the Digital Barometer is finding that the gap is widening between people who are more digitally literate and those who are less so.
In view of the fact that 80% of adult Belgians have an itsme® account, the itsme® app can certainly be said to make a positive contribution towards overcoming this challenge. In fact itsme® is paving the way to greater digital self-sufficiency, because it enables users to log in or sign up to a range of online services in the same, simple way every time, whether from a smartphone or a laptop. And once users have found their way to the itsme® app, a whole new world of digital applications opens up to them. When it comes to government websites, itsme® is the favourite log in method: 3 out of 5 Belgians used itsme® in 2022, compared with 1 in 5 who opted to use the eID. This is proof that a secure and easy identity app gives people self-confidence in their digital interactions.
Given the importance of digital inclusion in our society, itsme® will also continue to invest in this area, for example by launching initiatives designed to increase media literacy among young people or collaborating on training for future cybersecurity and privacy specialists.
The future: ambitions on multiple fronts
itsme® has become a household name in Belgium when it comes to the number of users, partners and actions. 2023 will be the year when the company clearly commits to the future, both in Belgium and beyond.
Digital wallets: whereas itsme® is already being used today to identify yourself, log in, confirm transactions and sign documents, the app is now also very well positioned to share other data while providing the highest level of security. For instance, itsme® will play a role in the new ecosystems emerging in relation to digital wallets. These wallets are the much-discussed personal ‘data vaults’ for citizens, in which they can keep things such as diplomas, EPC certificates and the like. Using itsme®, users will be able to give their consent to share data from these wallets with a third party – albeit without itsme® being able to see this data.
itsme® in Europe: itsme® meets all requirements to serve as a European login and signing tool. Operating across borders has become essential in a unified Europe. The app is already heading towards an international breakthrough via a number of initial projects in the Benelux. For example, itsme® has already taken its first steps in the Netherlands and is now also present in Luxembourg. In doing so, itsme® is demonstrating that it can also provide a solution internationally for the management of online identities.