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Post Office and Yoti become the UK’s first certified digital identity service providers

UK citizens looking to start a new job can do so faster and more securely using the Post Office’s digital identity services after they were today (6 June) certified by the Government.

Post Office, and its partner Yoti, are the first certified identity service providers (IDSPs) in the UK. Using the free Post Office Easy ID app or Yoti ID app, people can now complete their identity checks digitally to prove their Right to Work, as well as their Right to Rent and can use the apps for the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Post Office EasyID enables UK citizens to prove their Right to Work digitally instead of having to physically show a passport or driving licence, helping to speed up the recruitment process and enabling businesses to start new employees quicker than before. Almost half of UK consumers polled (46%*) said they did not like it when businesses take a photocopy of their ID. Citizens without a smartphone can also prove their Right to Work online using identity verification.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation conservatively estimates that its member recruitment businesses conduct around 300,000 Right to Work checks every week, highlighting the potential time and administration cost saved with digital IDs offering instant, paper free identity verification.

The acceptance of digital identity checks comes following the successful use of remote checks during the Covid-19 pandemic when new employees were unable to physically enter an office or workplace to provide their identity documents and had to show them on Zoom or other platforms.

Elinor Hull, Post Office Identity Services Director, said: “At a time when the hospitality and retail sectors in particular are struggling to recruit and get staff onto the shop floor, the ability to digitally check candidates right to work speeds up the recruitment process, is more secure and could enable them to start sooner than if the candidate has to travel and then have their documents photocopied and physically checked.

“There’s additional reusable benefit for employees, particularly useful for those in the gig economy or more seasonal work and frequently changing employer – once created their EasyID can prove their Right to Work to each employer in seconds.” 

John Abbott, Chief Commercial Officer at Yoti, said: “Under Right to Work legislation, the maximum fine for hiring illegal workers is £20,000 per worker, which would have a dramatic effect on a business. Ensuring employees are legally permitted to work is essential. 

“Being one of the first identity companies to be certified shows our commitment to the market and is a testament to the quality of our digital identity technology. Certification represents the gold standard of Digital Identity service provision with security and privacy prioritised, meaning clients should have no concerns about GDPR.”

Post Office EasyID also enables UK citizens to prove their Right to Rent digitally, helping to speed up the letting process for tenants and landlords. Document verification, facial verification and fraud checks are all done digitally. Providing documents to estate agents or to landlords directly for physical checks poses a greater risk of identity fraud or the loss of documents as well as the inconvenience of having to travel for the check to take place.

Post Office launched Post Office EasyID in August 2021 – a free to download digital identity app for customers to prove who they are from the convenience of their smartphone. Post Office EasyID is the latest development in Post Office’s business strategy to embrace new technology and deliver improvements that help both Postmasters and customers operate more efficiently. Over three million UK citizens have downloaded the EasyID or Yoti app.

Post Office has a long-standing relationship with the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been providing in-person checks in its branch network for over 10 years. This year, Post Office has re-engineered its in-branch verification service to better enable customers with paper evidence who are struggling digitally to be verified in-person by a knowledgeable Postmaster. Over 90% of the UK population live within five miles of a branch offering the service.

 Further information about Post Office’s certification can be found on Gov.uk.

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