Digital access to UK government services scaled by Mitek and Digidentity

Access to UK government services over GOV.UK Verify, including Universal Credit and business and self-employed payments, has been made more secure using near real-time selfie and ID document comparison from Mitek and Digidentity, as well as being able to meet rising demand.

At its peak, GOV.UK Verify saw over 400 applicants a minute, and fraud, including identity and benefit fraud, rose by a third during the first three months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Completed in a matter of days, the scaling of Mitek and Digidentity’s verification solution means that the UK government service portal is now able to cope with over 150,000 applicants a week.

AI, machine learning and forensic document experts have been utilised to ensure efficient operations and the viable prospect of replication when a future influx of demand occurs.

Applicants are asked to scan an ID document and submit a selfie to the portal, before the solution carries out verification checks.

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Not all genuine IDs can be checked automatically, however, as some do not conform to modern document standards, inconsistencies in document images are possible, and data-capture technologies remain limited. This spells out the need to contantly evolve to keep up with increasingly sophisticated criminal forgeries.

Integrity is ensured by matching submitted data against authoritative sources, such as government databases and global organisations, including Interpol.

“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.”

Max Carnecchia, CEO of Mitek, commented: “We are proud to work with Digidentity, helping UK citizens and residents to access vital online services in these challenging times.

“Our priority is to ensure that residents can sign up for crucial UK government support services safely and securely, when they need them most.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.