The recent adoption in Italy of a legislation stating the full equivalence of digital and handwritten signatures gives any institution with the appropriate requirements the opportunity to act as Certificate Authorities (CA) for digital signatures. This rises the question whether the CA role could be of potential interest for the Italian banks. The present analysis is focused on the Italian banking sector; however, some aspects taken into consideration here may be in common with other countries. Porter’s five forces model is used to show how the Italian banks could leverage the advantageous cost asymmetries given by their existing distribution channels to pursue simultaneously cost leadership and differentiation, acting as Certificate Authorities. Furthermore, they could build up new complementary services and value for the customers around this role. The lack of specific competences and assets together with a number of tactical and strategical drivers suggests that these new services could be object of outsourcing.
Virili, Francesco and Cantoni, Franca, "The Italian Legistlation on Digital Signatures and the Role of Italian Banks as Certificate Authorities: A Strategic Analysis" (2000). ECIS 2000 Proceedings. 14.