U.K. digital ID tool passes big test
Officials give positive marks to effort involving Onfido, Deloitte and Evernym
26 August, 2020
category: Digital ID, Financial, Government
Reusable, portable U.K. digital ID has passed a significant test, with Onfido, Deloitte and Evernym announcing positive results of a pilot involving the powerful Financial Conduct Authority.
The three companies involved in the digital ID program said their next move is to “develop a production ready solution to launch in the UK market.” Such a product could help consumers authenticate themselves in various settings, including financial activities, with much less hassle, frustration and friction.
People using the digital IDs could employ them to open financial products, and more than half went on to reuse the credentials to sign up for multiple live services
Specifically, the digital ID process that gained positive results enables credential providers to verify any relevant information about an individual or organization, and then issue digitally verifiable credentials. People with these forms of digital ID can hold multiple digital credentials on their mobile phones. Digital ID holders can accept or reject requests to share information with various institutions seeking to authenticate.
Tough test for U.K. digital ID
Testing via the Financial Conduct Authority began in 2019 to “evaluate how reusable or portable identity can improve customer onboarding journeys and reduce compliance costs for financial institutions,” according to a statement from the three companies. Such testing involved “some of the toughest conditions and a high bar for testing a decentralized identity ecosystem. Its success therefore marked the next step in the journey to creating an open world where identity becomes the key to accessing online services.”
Testing results showed that people using the digital IDs could employ them to open financial products. “More than half went on to reuse their digital credentials to sign up for multiple live services,” according to the companies. “Of those that participated in focus panels, the majority stated they would recommend the solution to a friend.”
Additionally, testing showed that participants liked being able to “hold, manage and control their own data, which reduced the risk of their data being breached, since it was encrypted in distributed locations.”
The companies also said that recent changes to U.K. money laundering regulations could help pave the way for this digital ID technology to make its way to market.
“The pilot has been a shining demonstration of how portable digital identity can transform markets and solve real business problems in a way never before possible,” said Steve Havas, CEO of Evernym. “When you put the individual in charge of her digital identity, everyone wins. It gives consumers the freedom to securely move about the digital world, and businesses the ability to finally know and trust who they are interacting with.”