Verify team reveals progress on efforts to increase sign-up

The team behind the government’s identity assurance scheme are working on tech to allow users to pause their verification process in a bid to encourage more people to create identities.

GOV.UK Verify team has signalled it plans to allow people to pause their verification process – Photo credit: Flickr, Dominick, CC BY-SA 2.0

The programme, GOV.UK Verify, allows certified companies to carry out identity checks on people so they can set up a single login that can be used across all government platforms.

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A blogpost from Verify product manager Gabor Mikes sets out the latest progress for the scheme, which went live in May– a delayed start after the scheme was troubled by setbacks in its early phases.

In it, Mikes said the team was looking at whether they could allow users to pause the process of verifying their identity so they can finish it later – an effort to increase the number of visits that result in someone creating a user identity.

Other work to encourage more people to create identities or re-use a verified account with a certified company include analysing error logs and improving how Verify supports users.

Meanwhile, the Verify team looking at improving the service itself are automating the lengthy steps in the process used to release code to the live environment and upgrading applications and libraries to run up-to-date, secure code.

The post also gives a plug for the ongoing recruitment drive at GDS, reported by PublicTechnology earlier this week, which now also includes the role of senior policy adviser and IT service desk analyst.

The recruitment drive comes at a time of flux for GDS, with a number of senior leaders leaving, including Verify’s own director, Janet Hughes, who left just weeks after GDS chief Stephen Foreshew-Cain’s sudden departure.

Hughes’ replacement, Jess McEvoy, announced in August that the team would be prioritising work around the error reporting parts of the system and working to create a better process for picking which company should verify a person’s identity.

Mikes picks up on this in his blogpost, saying that in the next two to three weeks, they would be running tests to find out if asking whether users have a bank account, debit or credit card would help.

Meanwhile, they will look at how to help users indicate what kind of driving licence they have, which would again help choose the company that would be best at verifying their identity.


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