Post Office is expanding its presence in the identity services market with the roll-out of a suite of online and in-branch products in a new partnership with digital identity company Yoti. The rollout includes a free-to use app that will combine customers’ personal data and biometrics to create a secure, reusable ID on their phone, and in-branch services for those customers who do not have access to a smartphone or who prefer face-to-face contact when asked to confirm their identity.

The partnership will also connect Post Office customers with online businesses, by enabling companies to use Post Office and Yoti identity verification services for fraud detection, E-signatures and customer authentication services, using secure biometric face matching and liveness detection. The partnership combines Post Office’s existing experience in identity services and its extensive branch network with Yoti’s renowned identity technology to help drive the UK’s digital transformation.

Digital identity market

Government departments and public sector organisations continue to embrace digital transformation

Post Office continues to embrace new technology and this further expansion into the identity services market is part of its efforts to adapt and remain relevant in the digital age, whilst ensuring it continues to offer customers choice as to how they transact. The UK’s digital identity market is currently worth an estimated £2 - 4 billion per annum and growing at 5% each year as regulation and digitisation grows.

As UK companies, Government departments and public sector organisations continue to embrace digital transformation, difficulties with asserting identity in a digital world can fuel uncertainty and lack of trust that limits the full range of services offered online.

Physical identity verification

Nick Read, Chief Executive at Post Office, said: “Post Office is embracing new technologies and this partnership will enhance our reputation as the trusted go-to destination for identity solutions. Whether it’s proving your identity on a smartphone or face-to-face with a Postmaster, we will make transactions faster and simpler than ever before. I am delighted that Post Office and Yoti are joining forces to expand our identity services."

"We have an ambitious strategy to deliver a unique offer to the market that integrates digital and physical identity verification at scale benefitting both individuals and businesses.”

Reduce identity fraud

Robin Tombs, CEO at Yoti, said: “I’m proud to announce Yoti’s partnership with the Post Office, together we’ll make it simpler and safer to prove who you are and know who you’re dealing with, anywhere in the UK. Seven years ago, Yoti set out to fix the broken identity system. Trust is critical in the emerging digital ID space and our plan has always been to partner with the Post Office, which I believe is one of the most trusted brands in the UK.

Together with the Post Office, we will help drive the UK’s digital transformation"

“We have already invested over £85m creating a world-leading ID platform that removes the friction from outdated ID processes, puts individuals in control of their identity, preserves privacy and helps reduce identity fraud. Together with the Post Office, we will help drive the UK’s digital transformation, making life simpler and safer for individuals and businesses online, in-branch and on the high street.”

Digital identity app

Post Office and Yoti have ambitions to be one of the bests in the UK market in identity services, providing solutions that will enable individuals and businesses to be able to trust that others are who they claim to be in every online and face-to-face transaction. A new free-to-use Post Office digital identity App will launch in the Spring. It will combine a person’s personal data and biometrics to create a secure, reusable ID on their device. Customers have the choice as to what information they share.

The creation of their own digital identity means they don’t need to carry documents such as a driver’s licence or passport to prove their identity. Customers will be able to use the Post Office digital identity app for a range of online and in person transactions such as one-click bank account applications, job applications, mortgage applications, proof of age for the purchase of restricted goods such as cigarettes, picking up parcels and for travel purposes.

Verify identity online

Post Office is the pioneer in enabling people to verify their identity online and access Gov.UK Verify Services such as tax self-assessment, Universal Credit and basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. Almost four million UK citizens hold a Post Office Gov.UK Verify account. Post Office also provides a number of identity transactions such as passport and driving licence renewals as well as DBS and documentation certification checks from its branches.

Despite Covid-19 related lockdown restrictions, seven million identity-related transactions were carried out

In 2020, despite Covid-19 related lockdown restrictions, seven million identity-related transactions were carried out at Post Office branches. As part of this partnership with Yoti in July, a pilot, initially at around 750 Post Offices, will offer these new in-branch services. This will enable those people without a smartphone, secure internet access, or photo ID to complete their identity verification at a Post Office.

Identity verification services

Those who simply prefer face-to-face transactions will also be able to have their identity verified by a Postmaster in-branch. Post Office and Yoti will bring a range of reusable and transactional identity services to businesses.

These include identity verification services which can be used as part of fraud detection measures, age verification services, E-signature services and customer authentication services which provide customers with a secure way of accessing a company’s services using secure biometric face matching and liveness detection.

Secure digital identity

Elinor Hull, Identity Services Director at Post Office, said: “Access to products and services are increasingly moving online, whether it’s opening a bank account, applying for a job, accessing medical services or buying goods. We’re responding to this shift with a free-to-use App that will allow customers to build their own secure digital identity on their smartphone, enabling them to easily control and prove who they are to whichever business they want to interact with."

"For businesses, we are providing a suite of transactional and reusable identity verification services that will enable them to serve their customers with ease, trust and at low cost.”

Esigning and authentication

We’re excited to see Yoti’s secure technology combined with the Post Office identity services and network"

John Abbott, Chief Business Officer at Yoti, said: “We’re excited to see Yoti’s secure technology and operations combined with the Post Office identity services and network. Privacy, security and simplicity are at the heart of our solutions, designed to put individuals in control of their data and make it easy for businesses to join our trusted network.”

“Together, our unique partnership will provide a suite of services including identity verification, esigning and authentication that leverage privacy-preserving AI and advanced encryption to protect people’s important personal data. We’ll remove the barriers between the online world and high street with our shared values of inclusivity and accessibility.”

Yoti has 2 million consumer app downloads in the UK (9m worldwide) and provides identity solutions to businesses including Virgin Atlantic, NCR, the Co-Op, NSPCC and the NHS and Government of Jersey.

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