In this extraordinary crisis situation, new needs are being thrown up every day. Old ways of managing are no longer sufficient. Cash use is out; replaced by electronic payments only. Similarly, proving identity through handing over passports face-to-face is no longer possible. techUK members are ready with solutions to fill this need.
And the need for proof of ID is pressing. Here are just some examples:
- NHS: The NHS is asking for thousands of volunteers, who will be asked to go out and visit vulnerable people. Proper checks are needed to assure the identity and the reliability of such volunteers and these cannot be done face-to-face. But they can be done digitally – let us help.
- Recruitment: Many, many workers have been laid off, while numerous sectors are urgently seeking new recruits. Supermarkets need supply chain workers, shelf stackers, replacement staff for those off sick; more delivery drivers are needed everywhere. Digital ID and right to work checks would speed up this process immeasurably.
- Benefits and government assistance: Many of those who have lost jobs will have to sign on for benefits and for the other emergency relief funds the Government has put in place. Applicants will need to prove their identities and their eligibility. Digital systems which can assist are available and the tech sector is keen to help put them into action.
- Shop-worker safety: Staff in food shops must be protected from having to check physical IDs when selling alcohol and age-restricted products. Some face aggression or violence in enforcing these rules, a possibility which becomes more real in times of crisis. Being able to check a clear digital ID on a mobile phone would remove these dangers.
To avoid the spread of COVID-19, identity checks can and must be done digitally to avoid unnecessary face-to-face contact and the passing over of paper ID documents; also to get people signed up to the help they need as swiftly as possible.
The tech sector has the expertise and capacity to step in and put digital identity solutions in place – let us help. We need a plan, direction and coordination from central authorities. We need to work together with government departments, charities and businesses in need of staff. techUK stands ready to assist in whatever way we can to help get the technology and the expertise get to where it is needed.