Published: Thursday September 18, 2014
We are delighted to see the UK government making great progress towards the utopia of single sign on to public services.
We’ve been championing the benefits of robust electronic ID verification as a way of improving customers’ experience in the public and private sector for nearly 10 years now. UK citizens are among the most web-savvy in the world, with adoption rates at 89%. The private sector through organisations like Amazon has really set the bar for smooth customer experience and the whole process of proving who you are needs to be just another step in a seamless process. It’s great to see the public sector taking this on a level to allow citizens access to the myriad services that our government and local authorities provide without having to cope with hundreds of different user names and passwords.
But there is still too great a reliance on paper and manual ID checking in government agencies that desperately needs to be reviewed. The gaming, mobile telecommunications and retail banking sectors have all learned that relying on staff alone to identify fraudulent or inaccurate paperwork is a very flawed model. Yet plenty of organisations including our local authorities and public bodies still rely on a human to check ID documentation. In an age when we have 270 different nationalities represented in London alone, this makes checking ID documents a very onerous – and time consuming - process. Never mind the surge in fake ID websites that enable you to buy – for example - a very legitimate looking UK driving licence for as little as £20.
We know from our experiences elsewhere that moving to an electronic ID process cuts out the fraudulent applications and makes the whole process much more robust – and easy – for everyone. It is our belief that as much as 50% of current applications are rejected – often due to simple human error. So the adoption of eIDV as part of the government’s new Verify scheme is great but let’s see it applied everywhere so that we start to take human error out of the equation.