Post Office and Yoti to deliver UK's first Digital ID service

The government has approved the Post Office and Yoti as the UK’s first providers of a certified digital ID service.

The service, which enables employers to verify a UK citizen’s Right to Work will allow them to complete identity checks digitally via the Post Office Easy ID app or the Yoti ID app.

Other checks available through the service include Right to Rent and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The apps will enable UK citizens to digitally prove ID without having to show a physical passport or driving licence, which is aimed at speeding up the recruitment process and enabling businesses to start new employees more quickly.

An online survey of 2003 adults carried out by Dynata on behalf of the Post Office and Yoti found that almost half of UK consumers (46 per cent) said they did not like it when businesses take a photocopy of their ID.

As part of the scheme, UK Citizens without a smartphone can also prove their Right to Work online using identity verification.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation conservatively estimates that its member recruitment businesses conduct around 300,000 Right to Work checks every week, which the Post Office said highlights the potential time and administration cost saved with digital IDs offering instant, paper free identity verification.

Acceptance of digital identity checks is on the rise following the successful use of remote checks during the Covid-19 pandemic when new employees were unable to physically enter an office or workplace to provide their identity documents and had to show them on Zoom or other platforms.

Commenting on the approval, Elinor Hull, Post Office identity services director, said: “At a time when the hospitality and retail sectors in particular are struggling to recruit and get staff onto the shop floor, the ability to digitally check candidates’ right to work speeds up the recruitment process, is more secure and could enable them to start sooner than if the candidate has to travel and then have their documents photocopied and physically checked.

She added: “Our government certification represents the gold standard of Digital Identity service provision and demonstrates that security and privacy have been prioritised. Post Office and Yoti in partnership are the one stop shop for identity services – the only provider that offers digital identity services via web and app, but also provides in-branch verification services for people unable, or choose not to, do so online.”

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