Apple continues its wallet takeover with a virtual driver’s license — and keys are next

Thursday, September 2, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_"Ladies, can I see some ID?" [praetorianphoto/E+ via GettyImages]_

"Ladies, can I see some ID?" praetorianphoto/E+ via GettyImages

Got my driver's iLicense last week… Yesterday, Apple partnered with eight US states to launch digital driver’s licenses on iPhones and Apple Watches. Apple emphasized that its new IDs are “more secure” than IRL licenses. The e-licenses will roll out in Apple Wallet after an iOS update this fall. How they’ll work:

  1. Scan your license with your iPhone, like you’d scan a card for Apple Pay.
  2. Take a cute selfie that’ll be sent to your state for verification.
  3. Twist your head around for a biometric scan with Apple’s FaceID tech.
  4. Sail through security by tapping your iPhone or Apple Watch and scanning your face or your fingerprint at TSA. TBD if the police will accept it for traffic stops.

Plastic is so 2020… Apple Pay is the top mobile payment tool in the US, with 44M users. But Pay is only the beginning: Apple wants to take over your whole wallet, purse, and keys. After touting privacy for years, Apple hopes customers will trust its devices as all-in-one passkeys to everything:

  • Leave the purse at home… In addition to in-store payments, Apple Wallet can be used to: ride public transit, check in to concerts, and store boarding passes and health insurance cards.
  • No keys, no problem… Apple Wallet can already be used to unlock cars, and even access some college buildings. Soon, Wallet will also be able to unlock homes, hotel rooms, and offices.
  • Not just Apple… Competitors including Google and Clear Secure are also building digital IDs. The e-ID market is expected to double between 2021 and 2026.

IDs are the next step in smartphone dependence… Every day, billions of people use smartphones to chat with friends, order food, book rides, watch shows, and navigate. Now, Apple wants iPhone to be the only thing people grab when they go out. By positioning its devices as all-in-one wallets, keys, and health monitors, Apple hopes to make iPhones and Apple Watches truly indispensable — and gain an edge over other smartphone makers.