Editorial

Mitek and Digidentity helping onboard millions of benefit applications during COVID-19

Mitek and Digidentity help GOV.UK Verify securely onboard users as demand for government services surges

Posted 24 September 2020 by

Mitek has revealed that, through its partnership with Digidentity, it has helped GOV.UK Verify process millions of new benefit applications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The digital identity verification specialists scaled operations to enable faster onboarding for people registering with GOV.UK Verify. They 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.

GOV.UK Verify 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.

More than one million new GOV.UK Verify accounts have been created since March 16, 2020.

“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, in a statement.

“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.” 

Using selfies

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. 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 must be confirmed and verified, based on the information provided by each person, in near real time.

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. In addition, fraud rose 33 percent during the first three months of the pandemic.

In those cases, the data provided is matched against authoritative sources like government databases and global organisations, including Interpol.

“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.”