Indonesia’s new digital ID aims to make it easier for citizens to access public services

By Mochamad Azhar

The Indonesia government is targeting the digitalisation of all identity documents by June 2024 and is urging more than 200 million people to activate the country’s digital ID application on their smartphones.

The Digital Population Identity (IKD), commonly known as the Digital ID, is a programme of the Directorate General of Population and Civil Registration (Dukcapil) at Indonesia's Ministry of Home Affairs. It aims to make it easier for millions of citizens to access government services. Image: Dukcapil

Teguh Setyabudi, Director General of Population and Civil Registration of the Ministry of Home Affairs, explained that Indonesia’s Identitas Kependudukan Digital or Digital Population Identity (IKD), commonly known as the Digital ID, will make public services more accessible to millions of Indonesians. 


"With the IKD application, people can access government and private services more easily without having to come to government branch offices to get verification and complete documents. This provides significant benefits, especially for those who live in remote areas or have limited mobility," Teguh said in a press statement on 12 January.  


In addition, IKD will also increase the efficiency of public service administration processes. Population documents such as identity cards (KTP), family cards (KK), birth certificates and others can be accessed and verified instantly through this digital platform, thus reducing the time and cost required to obtain services.  


Digital ID is a top priority that ASEAN governments are working on as a gateway to digital government. In Indonesia, IKD has been designated as one of the nine priority Electronic-Based Government System (SPBE) applications, based on Presidential Regulation No. 82 of 2023 on Accelerating Digital Transformation and Integration of National Digital Services.  

One digital identity, multiple benefits  


Teguh said that digital identity is designed as a tool for a person to verify their identity online when accessing public services. IKD is one of the pillars of digital public infrastructure (DPI), along with digital payments and data exchange.   


Unlike a physical ID card, IKD can be accessed digitally through a smartphone application. During the activation process, information containing the owner's personal data such as identification number, date of birth, and photo will be recorded in the system.  


"After being successfully verified by the system, the user's IKD will immediately be used as a valid proof of identity just like a physical ID card. However, a physical ID card is still valid for use by someone who does not have an IKD," Teguh explained. 


IKD can act as a single sign on (SSO) for a person to verify their identity online, be the key to accessing government services online, and act as a mechanism to provide consent for data use, such as when people wish to open a bank account or conduct digital transactions.  


"That means people no longer need to take a selfie holding their ID card in front of an officer to get a service," Teguh continued. 


The IKD application can also be a "digital wallet" that can be used to store identity documents, such as the KTP and KK cards, child identity cards (KIA), and birth certificates. 


According to Teguh, the features in the IKD application are designed to be user-friendly, with a simple interface that can be accessed by anyone anywhere. 


In the future, the team plans to continue improving the user-friendliness of these features. The government is also looking into creating special features within the app to support vulnerable communities, such as the elderly or people with disabilities.  


"IKD is not only a modern tool, but also an inclusive solution to realise equitable public services," he said. 

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The challenge ahead: digitalising 220 million identities in 6 months  


The IKD activation process is a large project because it involves hundreds of millions of people. Currently, only 7.3 million out of a target of 220 million citizens have activated their IKD apps.


Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo said in a plenary meeting on 9 January that he has ordered the Ministry of Home Affairs to accelerate the implementation of IKD for its completion within 6 months.   


Teguh explained that the Directorate General of Population and Civil Registration (Dukcapil) is trying to accelerate the activation process through various means. First, the regional branches of Dukcapil in all districts and cities have opened service posts at each branch office to serve people who want to activate IKD.   


"Dukcapil officers have also been deployed to visit people directly in the community."   


In addition, public campaigns touting the advantages of IKD over physical IDs are encouraging members of the public are encouraged to activate their IKDs.  


"We urge the public to immediately activate IKD because IKD is safer with the use of password verification and biometric codes and is not easily lost or damaged," he added.  

Accelerating IKD adoption through collaboration


Director General of Dukcapil Teguh Setyabudi (third from left) discusses digital governance with representatives from Estonia, a country that has successfully implemented digital ID. Image: Dukcapil

For Teguh, collaboration between all stakeholders is needed to accelerate the realisation of IKD as directed by the President.  


In addition to working with the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Dukcapil is also in intensive discussions with Perum Peruri, the institution that will carry out the role of the government technology agency (GovTech) under the new name of INA Digital.   


Dukcapil is collaborating with Estonia, a country that has successfully implemented digital ID, on preparing a standardised system, promoting interoperability and data security, as well as on research and product development.  


"Digitalisation of public services in Indonesia faces challenges that are not easy considering the vast territory and large population. We hope that collaboration can be a solution to the implementation of a digital government system more quickly," he concluded. 


This article was originally translated from Bahasa Indonesia here.