Post offices to provide One Login identity checks

In-person document checks will be available at around 1,000 post offices for those unable to use digital options, but will still require people to start and end the process online

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is working with the Post Office to establish an in-person identity check option for its multipurpose GOV.UK One Login system, although the process will still require users to use email and the web to start and complete the process.

The option, designed for those with lower levels of digital skills who do not have a smartphone, will soon be available at around 1,000 post offices. The Post Office already offers in-person identity checks with technology provider Yoti for Right to Work, Right to Rent and Disclosure and Barring Service applications.

Users will be required to set up a One Login account on the GOV.UK website, then choose a post office branch that offers identity checks. They will have to take a document with a photo, such as a passport or driving licence, to that post office, where this will be scanned and their photo will be taken. Finally, they will receive an email telling them they can access the service.

“We’re aware this process does begin and end online, which may not work for everyone,” write Rachel Tsang and John Holben, both deputy directors of the One Login service, in a blog post. “However, for those who lack confidence or don’t have a smartphone, this in-person option may offer all the help they need to prove their identity with GOV.UK One Login.”

One Login identity checks can also take place through a dedicated app, which has been downloaded more than three million times, or a web browser. Online, checks involve users either scanning the image on their photo identity document and providing a picture or answering security questions based on data in their credit records. GDS is working to find options that work for people who do not have photo identification or detailed credit records, which could include asking security questions based on data from other government departments.

Tsang and Holben added that GDS is in the process of procuring a phone and email support service for One Login to provide further help. The organisation recently signed agreements worth a total of £35m to provide software engineering, security services and DevOps support, as well as a £16m contract with existing supplier Deloitte for a range of services.

In July, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority said that One Login is likely to cost £305m to introduce across its four-year delivery period but that it will save the government £1.75bn over the next five years. The government plans that 100 services will use it by 2025.

PublicTechnology staff

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