A small English island near the coast of Normandy is the site of a new identity initiatiave via the Jersey digital ID project. The government of Jersey has contracted with U.K.-based Yoti to provide authentication services to the island’s approximately 100,000 residents.
Jersey residents could start using their digital IDs to access online services as early as July
“In August 2017, Jersey’s Government issued a tender which called for a digital ID solution. This was part of the eGov initiative to get more services online, such as filing a tax return, registering to vote and accessing the citizen portal,” Yoti says.
Residents could start using their Jersey digital IDs to access online services as early as July, according to the island’s government.
How Jersey digital ID will improve online services in Jersey
The Jersey government wants digital ID because, it says, “we cannot be certain that the user of an online service is who they say they are,” according to its digital ID website. Being able to authentication online users via their digital IDs will provide following benefits, according to the Jersey government:
- display information about residents from government department databases
- populate forms with information the Jersey government already holds, where the user has granted permission to share their data
- simplify forms by only displaying sections that are relevant to the user
- avoid having to repeatedly ask people for information such as their name, address and date of birth
- introduce a wider range of online services, particularly forms that currently need signatures
- reduce fraud, because a digital ID will be a stronger proof of identity than an original signature.
The Jersey digital ID also can help commerce on the island, according to Yoti. “By giving individuals a free digital identity which they can create in minutes, businesses across a range of sectors can begin to leverage the benefits of digital identity into their own products and services, including finance, voting, healthcare, physical asset management, and many more,” Yoti said.
Neither Yoti nor the Jersey government provided details about the cost of the program or the digital ID application process. A successful digital ID effort in Jersey will enable the company — which earlier this year was valued at about $87.5 million after a $10.8 million investment round—to prove it can do more than help bouncers keep underage consumers from drinking at bars.
According to a recent article in Wired, “five bars and nightclubs in Bournemouth,” a British town along the English Channel, this year “started using Yoti to allow people to prove they were over 18. A phone’s camera can scan a QR code where Yoti is being used. The user is then told which piece of information is required by the company and they have the option to accept or refuse. If they accept, a bouncer will be shown their stored photo and whether they’re old enough to enter.”