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Vetuma, the Finnish public administration's joint service for electronic citizen identification and payment, has grown significantly during its 5 years of service, and will be updated during summer 2011, it was announced at a dedicated conference on 25 May 2011.
Tapani Puisto, Service Manager at the State Treasury's Government IT Shared Service Centre (Valtion IT-palvelukeskus - VIP, in Finnish), said: "The service was the first major project which had been launched by the Government IT Shared Service Centre. Since those first days of the service user numbers have increased 50-fold. Whereas at the beginning there were only a few [participating] municipalities, now there are over a hundred and more are coming all the time."
To illustrate the importance of the service, he added: "Vetuma also played an important role in this spring's parliamentary elections, when election officials recorded election information using the service."
Vetuma is getting new features during summer 2011. Mr Puisto said: "In August, service interoperability between Vetuma and tunnistus.suomi.fi will be created. This will enable a single login to be made for the services of both Vetuma and tunnistus.suomi.fi, such as citizen's account, tax administration, and the national social and employment electronic services."
In addition, the Vetuma interface will be revamped during the same time period, and thereafter the layout will mirror that of the eGovernment portal for citizens Suomi.fi.
Vetuma is now also integrated with other EU countries' systems. It is included in the EU-level STORK project, which enables citizens of a given country to use the identification method and tools applicable in their country to access and use the online services of another EU country. As an example, Mr Puisto cited the possibility of accessing Austria's electronic mailbox Mein Brief.at by using Vetuma to register and log in with one's Finnish eID card.
Finally, a pilot project is testing Vetuma's availability via a mobile signature service. The possibility of mobile identification for Vetuma is to be tendered in the autumn of 2011, and is planned to be operational at the turn of 2011-2012.
The Vetuma conference was organised by the Government IT Shared Service Centre to celebrate the service's fifth birthday and announce its upcoming improvements. There were approximately 30 participants from across the state administration and municipalities.
Vetuma (Verkkotunnistaminen ja -maksaminen, in Finnish) is the public administration's joint service for citizen electronic authentication and payment. Depending on the online service, a citizen can identify themselves with bank identifiers, a certificate card, mobile certificate or a user ID. They can also make payments from a bank account or with a credit card. The Vetuma service uses the address tunnistus.suomi.fi.
The service and its development are the responsibility of the Government IT Shared Service Centre in the State Treasury.