It is hugely galling for Apple users, but even Android users, that we in the Netherlands are so hugely behind on digital identification. In many countries you can do just fine with Apple Wallet for iPhone and Apple Watch. Can’t our government change that once and for all? OMT editor Dennis Mons thinks so.
A new message surfaced: California is also going to embrace digital identification. The American state wants driver’s licenses and also passports to simply be usable via the Apple Wallet. And in the Netherlands?
As my buddy Ruben stated in his soup advertisement, “Not right now!!!”
Apple Wallet on iPhone barely serves a purpose in the Netherlands
Up front: the Apple Wallet is far from useless in the Netherlands. For example, you can add your bank card which makes it easy to pay with your iPhone or Apple Watch. Also, these days you walk through more and more quickly at events and concerts.
In addition, it is child’s play to manage airline tickets and even check in at airports with the Apple Watch. But if you bump into a customs official in his dickish cubicle (respect those people, by the way), you still have to grab an old-fashioned school notebook to collect stamps. You know: that notebook one accidentally leaves at home.
It is therefore agonizing that not only California but other U.S. states are developing the technology to kill that retro nonsense, and the Netherlands is a bit behind technologically. The Apple Wallet can also be used in Colorado, Hawaii, Ohio and Puerto Rico, for example, for your identification and driver’s license.
If it is also possible in Puerto Rico, why are we in the Netherlands so tremendously behind? Of course I don’t expect a sudden huge leap where everything becomes digital, but Apple Wallet has been around since 2012. So plenty of time for the Dutch government to think hard about this tech.
Bad luck on the train
One of the most obtuse things is that we still cannot check in with our phones when we catch a train. In Hong Kong, Japan, China and the US, for example, it is the most normal thing in the world to check in with your iPhone or Android.
Ah yes, our trusty, outdated, yellow commuter caterpillar. (Image: Getty)
In the Netherlands this is still not the case ‘because the technology is not available and the investment is expensive’. Ladies and gentlemen: something like that is called an investment in innovation. If you don’t take those steps, you won’t get anywhere.
By the way, NS and Prorail don’t even know how long a train should be at busy times yet, so it’s not surprising that they fail like this. Yup: screwed again.
Just laugh at us
I therefore advocate that people in other countries just laugh at our outdated system. There is no reason we can’t put our IDs, passports and public transport passes into the Apple Wallet and thus into our digital wallets. Throw gas on it for a moment.
Granted: the government is not sitting still. It has been working on a system called vID for your iPhone or Android device since 2016. For this, it has done tests with the Experiencelab vID. The government itself states that (at the time) it did many tests over several months. We are now years away.
Dutch government must speed up id’s on iPhone and Android
The Netherlands is proud of technological innovations coming out of our little country for iPhone and Android. But why this all has to take so long with the brilliant developers we have in the Low Countries is a total mystery to me.
Be it the knackers and the well known Purple Crocodile what is getting in the way of our country some ease in this regard as well? Delicious bureaucracy that goes over many tranches and has to be judged by every squealer. Of course; safety comes first, but this snail’s pace is mind-boggling.
The Dutch government just needs to speed up to make Apple Wallet on your iPhone really usable.