Verify service to be used outside of central government

The interim boss of GOV.UK's Verify service is set to look for ways to use the identity-confirmation tools outside of central government.

According to Jess McEvoy, the service would continue to be used in the public sector - both in local councils and the NHS.

However, McEvoy said that, “We're planning to conduct a series of discovery projects with local authorities looking at how we might extend GOV.UK Verify in this area.”

Over 40 councils have hosted discovery events so far, in collaboration with the Local Digital Coalition, and have been taking place for some months.

McEvoy said the government was committed to the maximum “possible re-use of Verify across the public sector and beyond”.

The cost of the service appears to be too high for some. As an earlier blog post detailed: “In some cases, parts of the service are entirely outsourced, so it was difficult for those authorities to estimate the total cost (both in terms of time and money) for those parts of the service.”

Robin Tombs, CEO of Yoti told "GDS has shown clear vision in recognising the need for people to have a digital identity as more and more of our daily tasks are carried out online. Like Gov.Verify, Yoti believes strongly in empowering the individual to use, for free, their digital identity securely across public bodies and businesses to prove who they are. By ensuring people control the sharing of their verified identity and attributes easily from their phone, people will be free to prove their identity to a local council, business or even another individual. Whether we're buying or selling goods online, online dating, or even renting out holiday homes, we will all benefit from a digital identity."

The service, which launched in May 2016, appears to be doing well. So far it has seen 800,000 verified identities, with 77.5 percent  of users are either 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with the service.

The verification rate is on the increase and is now at 71 percent with the average completion rate also growing to 36 percent (though this varies very significantly across different services).

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