About the Personalausweis
The Personalausweis (nPA) is the German national ID card, which supports electronic identity verification. It can be used for online authentication, as it includes an RFID chip which can be read using a card reader or a mobile phone with NFC (using the AusweisApp app). The nPA can also be used for in-app authentication and identity verification, in combination with NFC.
- Personal information and a picture of the holder are visible on the card, but also stored in the card’s chip.
- Optionally, the chip can include additional information, such as the holder’s fingerprints and even an electronic signature (provided by a private company).
- Online authentication requires a PIN.
It is compulsory for everyone in Germany aged 16 or older to have an ID card or a passport. People under the age of 16 can also request the ID card, but the eID functionality will be switched off in this case. At 16, they can choose to have it switched on free of charge.
Integrating with the Personalausweis through Signicat
Web integration with the nPA is done via the same API as Signicat’s other ID methods. See “Get started with authentication“ for more information. Through the single point of integration, one will get access to Signicat’s wide portfolio of integrated ID methods, not only the nPA, but also other services like identity paper verification, lookups, and video assurance.
The nPA can be used to verify the end-user’s identity and obtain relevant personal details about them. Specifically, the following information can be obtained during authentication if the end-user agrees to it:
- Family name
- First name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Postal code
- Name at birth (if applicable)
- Religious, stage, or pen name (if applicable)
- Doctoral degree (if applicable)
The end-user wants to sign up for insurance with a company that offers identity verification through the nPA. The user will be able to sign up without having to enter any personal details manually.
When an end-user has registered their personal details with a service provider, they can also use the nPA to log in to the service provider’s website.
A user wants to log in to their insurance company’s website to review the conditions of their insurance policy. Their identity was already verified when they signed the insurance policy.
In the AusweisApp, which the user should have installed on their computer, the user will be able to see which data the service provider wants to obtain from the nPA. After clicking on “Identify now”, the user is prompted to enter their identity card in the reader and enter their pin on the device. After this, their identity will be verified.
In-app usage of the Personalausweis
As stated above, the nPA can also be used in-app for both identity verification and authentication. The video below shows an example of how this can be done. This option can be very practical for users, as it allows them to share the relevant data with the merchant without having to leave the app or use a reader. They will, however, have to use a mobile phone with NFC.
How to get started with the Personalausweis
If you want to start using the nPA through Signicat, get in touch with us and our sales team will guide you through the process.
Signicat’s test environment preprod.signicat.com is available 24×7, and may be used during your development and test phase.
After you register with the nPA as a service provider, you will receive a client ID which will allow you to access the testing environment.
List of service providers that can be accessed with the nPA: https://www.ausweisapp.bund.de/en/online-identification-function/provider-list/
List of compatible card readers: https://www.ausweisapp.bund.de/en/compatible-devices/card-readers/
List of mobile phones that can read the nPA chip: https://www.ausweisapp.bund.de/en/compatible-devices/mobile-phones-and-tablets/