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UK Government launch innovative new digital access pilot scheme

The UK Government has launched the Document Checking Service, an innovative scheme designed to give people easier and safer access to digital services which require identity checks, such as online mortgage applications, financial services and recruitment onboarding.

Run by the Government Digital Service, the new service would allow a small number of approved organisations to digitally check a person’s passport data to speed up application processes.

It will also help organisations tackle fraud and test if there is a market for this type of digital identity checking service.

The pilot scheme, which will run for approximately a year, is set to deliver significant time savings for people who previously went through in-person processes to verify their identities. It will also provide financial savings for organisations who can move their identity proofing processes online.

Cabinet Office Minister, Julia Lopez, said: “The Document Checking Service pilot provides an opportunity to establish how the Government and private sector might work together for the convenience of the citizens we serve.

“It will help us learn how we can help citizens and businesses access online services by verifying a person's identity more safely and easily, unlocking the huge potential of technology to improve our everyday lives.”

The move represents part of the Government’s commitment to making it easier and safer for people and businesses to access services online.

Under the pilot, no organisation will be given access to government-held data and an individual must consent to having their data verified. The organisation checking the ID will simply receive a ‘yes or no’ answer confirming whether the document provided is valid.

Up to eleven organisations from a range of sectors have been selected to be part of the pilot.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: "The UK has a thriving digital economy and we are committed to making it easier for people to prove their identity online without compromising personal information and for businesses to conduct checks in a safe and secure way.

"This pilot is a significant step forward in our work and will help speed up access to financial services and make sure more people can benefit from the huge potential of technology."

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