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Verify team claims progress in demographic coverage



Figures from recent survey show that 79% of adults should now have supporting evidence for verification of their identities for online services

The team behind the GOV.UK Verify programme have claimed an increase in its potential coverage following the use of new survey data.

They have said that at least 79% of the adult population of the UK possess the evidence to be verified for the online identity assurance service, up from 73% for the previous estimate. Also, 88% in employment should have sufficient evidence.

The reports have come in a blogpost by two members of the programme team, Richard Higson and Kyran Dale, who say it takes them closer to the target of reaching 90% of the adult population.

It results from extending survey data from 12 to 20 items of evidence and technology – such as passports, driving licences and bank accounts – that can be used by certified companies to verify a person’s identity.

The findings have also prompted a forecast that it will be possible to exceed the target, meeting 92% coverage, by April of next year.

Age factor

The survey has also identified trends within the demographics, notably that people in the 25-64 year-old age group are best equipped to receive verification. About half of younger people will not have the evidence as they are less likely to be performing the financial transactions, such as paying off a mortgage, needed to satisfy one element of the process.

People over 75 are also less likely to be covered as many do not hold documents such as passports or driving licences which are needed for other elements.

In addition, people with no or low income could also struggle to provide the relevant evidence.

But the blog says that the certified companies – which handle the initial verification – are finding new ways of fulfilling the process, and improvements are planned such as using types of evidence and new ways of proving activity history.

“These will mean certified companies have access to evidence for activity history for almost everything in the UK,” it says. “If almost 100% of people have enough evidence to prove their activity history, then we will be able to achieve our goal of being able to verify over 90% of the adult population.”

Verify, one of the initiatives in the Government as a Platform programme,  went live in May for 10 central government services and there are plans for this to be extended through the year. The programme team said that 530,000 people had been verified at the time and that it could rise to anything between 750,000 and 2 million in the next year.

Image by Simon Waldherr, CC BY-SA 3.0 through Wikimedia


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