How GOV.UK will verify new influx of benefit applicants with selfies

24th September 2020
Lanna Deamer

Mitek and Digidentity, a digital identity verification solutions provider in Europe, have securely scaled operations to enable faster onboarding of those registering with GOV.UK Verify. Working together, Mitek and Digidentity ensured processing speeds of up to 400 applicants per minute to accommodate the growing need for UK nationals and residents to apply for government services, including Universal Credit, during the pandemic.

More than 1 million new GOV.UK Verify accounts have been created since 16th March, 2020. GOV.UK Verify continues to be a vital gateway for consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It enables access to 22 government services, including Universal Credit applications, business and self-employed payments, car registration and tax services, and pension queries. Following the initial registration, a GOV.UK Verify account can be used to access 22 UK government services online. Over the years, Mitek and Digidentity have enabled millions of GOV.UK Verify registrations. 

To make the online onboarding process safe, secure, and spoof-proof, the Mitek and Digidentity digital identity verification solution benefits from a unique combination of the world’s best forensic experts and most advanced banking-grade digital identity verification technology.

For the applicants, it means scanning an ID document and taking a selfie, with Mitek and Digidentity taking care of the rest. This approach ensures that the process is fast and efficient, and that those registering with the service are who they say they are.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen an unprecedented rise in demand for GOV.UK Verify registrations, with successful applications peaking at 164,672 new profiles per week,” said Dick Dekkers, Technology Director at Digidentity. 

“To meet this need, we worked tirelessly to scale up our digital verification solution to ensure applicants could register faster, without compromising on safety. Where digital identity verification is concerned, security always trumps speed to safeguard consumers from the risk of identity fraud.”

“We are proud to work with Digidentity, helping UK citizens and residents to access vital online services in these challenging times,” said Max Carnecchia, CEO at Mitek. “Our priority is to ensure that residents can sign up for crucial UK government support services safely and securely, when they need them most.”

Mitek and Digidentity’s technology ensures GOV.UK Verify users’ identities are securely verified at the point of application, to help stamp out any potential fraud. Mitek’s document verification solution provides a critical layer of defence in this process, designed to ensure those signing up are really who they say they are.

Using a government-issued identity document, the workflow requires users to submit a copy of the ID document alongside a selfie to verify their identity. Mitek’s AI and machine learning is used to perform fully automated authentication checks, which fall back to human-assisted forensic checks for more severe or complex cases. 

Each identity has to be confirmed and verified in its own right, based on the information provided by each person, in near real time. The process put in place has to be fast, secure and robust enough to minimise identity fraud. 

At the same time, not all genuine IDs can be checked automatically, as some do not conform to modern document standards and there can be inconsistencies in document images, as well as limited data-capture technologies.

The ever-increasing sophistication of criminal forgeries mean that fraud detection technology needs to constantly evolve and improve. To ensure the highest integrity of the identity services provided to GOV.UK Verify, the data provided is matched against authoritative sources like government databases and global organisations, including Interpol.

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