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Melissa: Role of emerging technology in remote ID verification

Barley Laing, the UK Managing Director at Melissa, on: 'Role of emerging technology in remote ID verification' as part of the Digital Transformation in the Public Sector Week #techUKDigitalPS

One of the biggest catalysts for change in the public sector is around evolving technology that’s driving remote identity verification.

With an increasing number of public sector services going online due to the pandemic, combined with the growth in fraud, it’s vital to source and use emerging technology that is able to check the identity of applicants to services remotely, ideally in real-time. This way public bodies are able to effectively protect and spend valuable budgets, whilst also ensuring a fast and secure user onboarding journey online.

Today, automated identity verification technology can seamlessly integrate with legacy systems and quickly, accurately and cost-effectively deliver ID verification

The identity verification technology those in the public sector should consider includes:

Electronic identity verification (eIDV)

When it comes to ID verification, using an eIDV service should be near the top of the list. Such a tool supports cross-checking against a person’s contact data in real-time as they complete an online application process - ensuring that the user experience isn’t compromised.

Make sure when sourcing an eIDV service that it matches the name, address, date of birth, email, or phone number against reputable data streams, such as government agencies, credit agencies and utility records. Only then is it possible effectively confirm the ID of an individual

Using optical character recognition (OCR) powered biometric technology delivers facial verification. This technology checks the validity of ID documentation in real-time and successfully examines the image in the master ID documents with the selfie provided by the applicant or user to see if they match. Once an applicant passes the necessary checks and is verified using this technology it simplifies the process of accessing their account. There’s no need for time-consuming security questions and passwords, they just provide a selfie.

However, it’s important that the OCR technology sourced is able to offer liveness checks, and requests a ‘challenge response’. It is only by asking the individual to blink, which confirms eye movement and proof of life, that it’s possible to establish the person is real and not a static image. It ensures that the person being onboarded online is very definitely who they say they are.

Sanctions / watchlists

With evolving technology, it’s now possible to access all the global sanctions (watchlist) data from governments and international bodies like the UN and EU in one place. Those in the public sector must access a watchlist service that has the technology to automatically update new sanctions information as soon as it’s announced. This is crucial with the large number of sanctions being announced against Russia and Belarus.

Automated checks are better than manual

New technology is helping those in the public sector avoid costly and time-consuming manual ID checks by automating them. This avoids another big issue with physical checks, which is human error. This is always a possibility because it’s not easy for staff to check documents for authenticity. Also, employees can’t be expected to know all ID document types which can cause review-related delays. Finally, technology makes it easy to source those with sanctions against them. Manually using a search engine is not the best practice, particularly with watchlists readily available.

When it comes to identity verification the accuracy, speed and cost benefits offered by the technology powering eIDV, biometrics and watchlists are significantly better than any manual approach. Embracing this technology will not only help protect those in the public sector from fraud thereby ensuring that their precious budgets aren’t wasted, but also deliver a standout onboarding experience for citizens.

To read more from #techUKDigitalPS Week, check out our landing page here.

You can also follow the campaign on techUK's Twitter and LinkedIn - #techUKDigitalPS.

Barley Lain.jpg

This article was written by Barley Laing, the UK Managing Director at Melissa. Barley Laing is the UK Managing Director at Melissa.

To learn more about Melissa, please visit their LinkedIn and Twitter.

On Tuesday 5 April, techUK was delighted to host the Cabinet Office and industry representatives for the launch event for the UK Government’s Digital, Data and Technology Sourcing Playbook which was published on 28 March 2022. The DDaT Sourcing Playbook sets out guidance – in one place – as to how digital projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered in central government departments, arms-length bodies and the wider public sector. Through the application of what is commercial best practice, the Playbook addresses 11 key policies and six cross-cutting priorities that will ensure government gets things right from the start when it comes to procurement.

You can watch the recording of the launch event in full here:

DDaT Playbook Launch Event

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