We've had some questions and comments this week about how mobile phones are used as part of GOV.UK Verify so thought it might be useful to write a short post about it.
In summary, you won't have to use a mobile phone to use GOV.UK Verify.
Identity providers have to meet published standards when they first verify someone's identity and in the way they authenticate of the person next time they want to access a service using GOV.UK Verify. We don't specify how the identity providers meet those standards, and we expect they will use a range of methods.
Identity providers have to include 2 steps to authenticate users - a secret known only to the user (eg a password), and another secret, communicated to the user through another channel. This is to protect against someone being able to steal the user's login credentials and pretend to be them.
The second step can be a code sent to a mobile phone (one of the more commonly used methods), or it can be another method such as a code communicated to you over your telephone landline, a gridcard or a hardware device similar to those used by some banks. We're expecting providers to give users a range of options. At least one provider is already planning to provide an alternative way for people who don't want to use a mobile phone when they authenticate. So if you want to use another method, other than a mobile phone, you'll be able to choose an identity provider that will enable you to do that.