Business Need

The Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) is a Dutch governmental institution that provides millions of Dutch citizens with their monthly benefits, like state pensions, personal health benefits and child benefits. They arrange it for all Dutch citizens, regardless of whether they live in The Netherlands or if they live abroad. 

When someone housed in The Netherlands dies, all registrations are updated automatically and their benefits will be terminated. However, this registration becomes more complex when citizens live outside of The Netherlands and receive benefits from the SVB. This group consists of 400,000 SVB clients. To check if someone actually still is alive and thus eligible to receive their monthly benefits, a ‘Proof of Life’ is needed.

The current system requires an individual to visit a governmental agency in the country where they reside to get their Proof of Life form signed. The Proof of Life is then returned to the SVB in The Netherlands by post. This process is complex, uncontrollable, time-consuming and susceptible to fraud.


As part of a SVB pilot project to implement a digital Proof of Life, we built a mobile application for Dutch citizens that live abroad. It runs on any smartphone with a camera and an internet connection. The application was aptly named WALDO (Wereldwijd ALternatief voor een Digitale Overheid / Global Alternative for a Digital Government).

WALDO combines cutting-edge technologies like the low-code application development platform Mendix, digital recognition of identification papers, facial recognition, speech recognition and real-time assignments. Technology that was previously only used at for example airports and customs was now available for the masses. This lead to a modern, safe and future-proof solution for the digital government


After the application was developed, it was tested in a real-life setting for a select group of Dutch citizens that live abroad. The SVB carried out the process.

Faster and simpler procedure for the customers
To deliver their Proof of Life in the current situation, some citizens had to travel for hundreds of kilometers to the nearest government agency or book a house visit from a notary, costing lots of money and time. Using the WALDO application, this process could be completed in a just few minutes from any place with an internet connection. In addition, very positive feedback was received by physically challenged customers that can now complete the process from the comforts of their own home.

Direct feedback to customers
The WALDO app delivers direct feedback for all steps in the process, so if any prerequisite in the process isn’t met, the applicant will be informed and they can retry immediately. This eliminates weeks of waiting time, which could easily occur with the paper version of the Proof of Life.

Faster processing for the Dutch government
Reviewing the Proof of Life submissions takes a lot of time for the governmental employees of the SVB. The WALDO app proactively offers SVB employees the information gathered from their clients, which is stored according to AVG/GDPR standards. This decreases the time needed to check the prerequisites of the Proof of Life and in addition make information sharing among other governmental departments possible in a safe way.