It’s been impossible to miss the media’s focus on immigration of late, with the latest figures revealing that we saw over 630,000 new residents into the UK in the last 12 months.
While much of the attention has, inevitably, been on the risks associated with high levels of net migration, the challenges and difficulties facing migrants themselves when they try to set up life here are numerous – often with far reaching consequences.
Of the 630,000 294,000 people migrated to the UK for work, with nearly 200,000 already having a definite job when they arrived. Despite secure employment, few of them have the sort of data footprint that is so vital for the way we live our lives in the UK.
One example is Josh, an Australian PR consultant, who thought he’d spend a few years working over in the UK and arrived here with a full work visa 6 months ago. Despite his regular salary and great references, Josh has no formal credit file in the UK and so he is still waiting to find permanent accommodation and – even worse – has really struggled to get a personal phone contract with any of the major mobile networks.
Or there is Dembe, recently arrived from Uganda, who is a legal migrant to the UK and currently works as a domestic cleaner. She faces challenges in getting more formal work due to nervousness on the part of potential employers who fear that they may fall foul of their Right to Work obligations.
So many of our current processes for on-boarding new customers or employees rely on old fashioned data systems that simply don’t stack up against the new digital world we now live and work in.
With such an amazing diversity of nationalities now making up the UK, we can no longer rely on UK credit or Electoral Roll data to underpin identity verification. Instead, we need a truly global system that can support our increasingly migratory population. The fact that a potential employee, or customer, has no credit footprint should not exclude them from doing business in the UK. And businesses – whether retailers, telecoms providers, banks or letting agents – are missing a huge and potentially very rich revenue stream if they don’t upgrade the way they think of ‘identity’.
If you’d like to learn more about Right to Work screening within a digital global economy you can download our whitepaper here.