Royal Mail launches online identity verification service
Royal Mail has launched its certified identity service that connects to the GOV.UK Verify platform. The free-of-charge service enables users to prove who they are online, so that they can access a range of government services – such as viewing their own driving licence information, getting a pension statement, or applying for Universal Credit.
As a GOV.UK Verify certified company, Royal Mail will ‘verify’ the identity of consumers using their name, gender, address and date of birth. Users will also be asked to supply a passport or driver’s licence number to further validate that they are the person they say they are. The checks may vary, depending on the level of assurance the service requires, but could include counter-fraud checks and activity history.
If the information matches, users will be granted a unique online identity, with a username and password. The system will give people control over their own data and eliminate the need for information about individuals to be stored in one central government database.
There are currently nine digital services available and a further 15 are expected to roll out over the next 18 months. These include amending a driver record, applying for child maintenance and signing a mortgage deed.
Royal Mail is one of nine certified companies chosen by the GOV.UK Verify to act as an ID service provider.
Any information supplied as part of Royal Mail’s – and other identity service providers – verification process will only be used to confirm the user’s identity and authenticate the application.
More than 470,000 user identities have now been verified through GOV.UK Verify. In the coming years, over 10 million people a year are predicted to use the system.
Jim Conning, Managing Director of Royal Mail Data Services, commented: “Royal Mail has a long track record of supporting its customers with data-driven services from managing the Postcode Address File we use to deliver to the UK’s 29 million addresses, to helping more than two million people a year move house without facing the risk of ID fraud with our Redirection service.
“Royal Mail’s new certified identity service is part of our strategy to innovate and introduce new platforms where we can grow, while maintaining our leading position in the letters and parcels markets.”