Lattelecom Technology is offering a mobile e-signature that may finally get this dead horse of a e-government/e-services project going at last. In order to use their mobiles as e-signature devices, users will pay around LVL 5 to have the specialized program burned into a new SIM card for their mobile phones. It should work on most phones available on the market. It will also function on all of Latvia's mobile phone networks.
According to a spokesman for Lattelecom Technology, the mobile e-signature will allow secure identification of users of online government services, internet banks, e-mailed documents and the like. It may even enable card-free use of ATMs (bankomats) such as is said to be possible in Turkey. The mobile user will send an SMS to the bankomat and recieve cash without needing to insert a card and punch in a PIN code (forget it, and your card is often swallowed).
Lattelecom Technology helped to develop Latvia's e-signature, which has hitherto been distributed to several thousand government and municipal officials (at government expense). Uptake of the service (a gadget one attached to a PC, if I am not mistaken) by the private sector has been rather limited, perhaps a few thousand users (because of the expense). It has also been sold mainly through Latvia's shambolic (LV readers, think bardaks) postal service.
The mobile offering may finally make a widely-used product of the e-signature, which is actually a rather progressive and convenient way of secure dealing with government and private service providers.