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UK Digital Identities: Building Momentum and Supporting Scale



Today 8th May 2024 TISA launched the SelectID service.

Digital Identity is a critical plank in the development of data portability and the UK Smart Data Economy, allowing individuals to use services that work for them to manage their data from across their lives. The benefits for individuals will be simplifying their lives, and making better more informed decisions, and gaining access to services and property. And for businesses the top 3 benefits will be productivity, reduced cost of customer acquisition, and personalised user experiences.

In many countries governments have rolled out national Digital Identities, Singapore is a great example and already benefiting from services such as MyFutureSkills. However in the UK there is a popular view that Government should not be controlling citizens identities, or indeed the data and verified attributes that enables digital identities. So, in the UK the philosophical design is that the market itself launches, delivers and drives the Digital Identity market. This philosophy holds the potential for accelerated growth and a strong trust foundation to support adoption, but equally creates a number of challenges which if not address could hamper adoption and market growth.

In putting the UK citizen at the centre of control of their Digital Identity, able to choose and share their Digital Identity from their preferred provider with the organisations they trust and want to do business with, the challenge of complexity and fragmentation occurs for both the individual and the organisation. At the last count the number of certified digital identity providers totalled 51, and that’s before the finalisation of the DPDI and before the Trust Mark is launched. This creates a complexity of choice for the individual and complexity of operations for organisations, which holds the potential of fragmenting the market adoption and the slowing of potential growth. So, what does that complexity and fragmentation look like? As an individual engages an organisation that they want to do business with, such as taking out insurance or a new mortgage, they will need to choose a digital identity, how is that choice presented? SelectID does that. As the organisation looks to integrate the multiple Digital ID providers into their customer journeys and business processes how do they overcome the complexity of multiple Digital IDs. SelectID does that. And with each Digital Identity also comes a multitude of commercial contracts and due diligence, SelectID does that.

Let’s take a slightly deeper look at what SelectID does. It is designed initially for the financial services market, and removes fragmentation and complexity , smooths journeys and smooths the path to adoption and scale:

  • It ensures Digital ID providers meet the regulatory guidance for AML KYC Id proofing and due diligence requirements for financial services.
  • Select ID also allows financial services firms to select from a range of certified Digital ID providers to increase customer onboarding rates and inclusion through a single commercial contract.
  • It also enables secure connections to a range of trusted Digital ID providers. Delivers a consistent response regardless of the ID provider chosen, simplifying integration and record keeping.

Digital ID will not be the only part of the market facing this complexity, fragmentation and adoption challenge. The decentralised and empowered consumer approach driven by the market aligns with the UK Data Strategy and is reflected in that Smart Data and Digital Verification Services strategies. As such it is likely that all sectors across our Smart Data economy, where Smart Data is driving data portability across all market sectors, all of which will face similar challenges of complexity and fragmentation that will require a SelectID like approach. Go team SelectID, a very big congratulations on launching the service today and your partners in Michael Forrest of Barclays, Marie Austenaa of Visa and Matt Povey of Northern Trust What next team?