https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2016/04/06/new-certified-companies-now-connected-to-gov-uk-verify/

New certified companies now connected to GOV.UK Verify

We’ve completed the process of connecting certified companies to GOV.UK Verify under the new framework for certified companies.

This is an important milestone for GOV.UK Verify as having a range of high quality certified companies for people to choose from is one of our objectives for live.

We've blogged about putting the new certified companies through a rigorous onboarding process so that we can be sure their solutions are secure, meet the standards and are well designed. The aim is to offer users a choice of companies that best meet their needs, as opposed to simply having a large number to pick from.

We’re excited to announce that we now have 8 GOV.UK Verify certified companies, all operating under the new contractual framework. The companies are:

Barclays
CitizenSafe
Digidentity
Experian
Post Office
Royal Mail
SecureIdentity
Verizon

4 of these companies had call-off contracts under the previous framework. These companies transitioned onto the new framework alongside 4 brand new companies.

These 8 certified companies, and the variety of methods and data sources they bring, will continue to help GOV.UK Verify work for more people as we move towards live and beyond.

Paypal was also on the second framework for certified companies but will not be joining the other certified companies in the GOV.UK Verify service.

We and the certified companies are now working towards our next milestone - going from beta to live later this month. 

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7 comments

  1. MarkK

    If you answer that you have all the evidence, are over 19 etc, it now only offers a choice of 3 of the providers. I'm sure the other 5 will soon notice that they are getting no custom. (The bug appears to be related to the removal of the question about banking.)

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Mark

      This isn't a bug. As part of the GOV.UK Verify journey you are asked a number of pre-qualifying questions that determine which of the certified companies are most likely to verify you based on the evidence you have to hand. We are constantly looking to improve the way that users are shown certified companies on the service, based on their answers. We recently made changes to ensure you are better informed when deciding which of the companies you would like to proceed with as part of our ongoing improvements to GOV.UK Verify based on testing and user feedback. We'll continue to iterate how the companies are displayed to improve this for users as we learn more, and the companies change and improve their services.

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  2. MarkK

    It may well be that the selected 3 are the most likely, but the response says:
    "We’ve filtered out 5 companies, as they’re unlikely to be able to verify you based on your answers."
    It is disappointing to find that most providers are still unlikely to be able to verify someone answering 'yes' to all questions.

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  3. Alan Bree

    I am told that there is not enough credit history to verify me and to add more history. I have lived at this address for nearly 25 years!

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    • Rebecca Hales

      Hi Alan

      I’m sorry your chosen certified company could not verify you. Certified companies have to work to published government standards when they verify your identity. To do this, they have to look at a range of evidence and checks to establish that you are who you say you are – no single piece of evidence is sufficient. There are five elements involved, and the company has to achieve specific thresholds in each one before they can verify someone’s identity.

      We do appreciate how frustrating that can be for those we are unable to verify at this stage. GOV.UK Verify is in beta (trial), which means it is constantly being developed and improved based on feedback from people who use it. We’re not able to verify everyone yet using GOV.UK Verify but we’re working to constantly expand and improve the service. Verifying someone's identity without talking to them or sending things in the post is a complex process and it will take us some time to make it work for everyone.

      You are able choose as many certified companies as you want to, so you may wish to try a different one. Alternatively, whilst we are in the trial period and still developing GOV.UK Verify, there are always other ways to access services. You can return to the service you were trying to access and use one of the other available ways to access it.

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  4. Bryce Martin

    It sounds exactly like official twaddle. If HMRC is happy with Gateway as proof of identity then no other company should be involved. More personal details being held by even more organisations. What your credit history has to do with this proof is beyond belief. Getting many forms of credit are quite simple with minimal details being given.
    How do we know these "approved" companies can be 100% trusted.

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    • Emily Ch'ng

      Hi Bryce

      Thanks for your comment.

      Government Gateway does not verify an individual to the required level of assurance for modern digital by default services, and users can’t register entirely online - it relies on codes and other documents being sent through the post.

      GOV.UK Verify offers a service that is faster and more secure for users, suitable for new digital by default services and is re-usable across a range of services. A verified identity account with a certified company through GOV.UK Verify provides identity assurance to a higher level of assurance than is available through the Government Gateway. This higher level of assurance will be required for many transformed digital services which allow people for the first time the ability to amend records and make claims entirely digitally.

      We take the security and privacy of our users very seriously. GOV.UK Verify was designed in close conjunction with CESG (The National Technical Authority for Information Assurance) and the Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group.

      Certified companies have to work to published government standards when they verify your identity. To do this, they have to look at a range of evidence and checks to establish that you are who you say you are – no single piece of evidence is sufficient. There are five elements involved, and the company has to achieve specific thresholds in each one before they can verify someone’s identity.

      The user asserted information of name, date of birth, address and gender is used to find the relevant credit reference file which is then used by the certified company the user has chosen, to create questions the answer to which only that user is likely to know. The user is generally not providing information, rather they are confirming the information the certified company has is or is not correct. The only time a user is asked to provide information is if they have chosen to use a certified company that allows them to prove who they are by providing their credit or debit card details to authorise a non-value transaction from their account via a secure payments service.

      You will find further information on how we enable secure delivery on government digital services at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/identity-assurance-enabling-trusted-transactions.

      You can also read more about how we protect your privacy on our blog at https://identityassurance.blog.gov.uk/2014/11/05/tech-arch-privacy/. This shows the data you enter, where we process it, what data is stored, and by whom.

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