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Yoti provides face biometrics and liveness detection to UK Post Office for on and offline services

New digital ID app and Yoti biometric checks at 750 locations coming in 2021

biometric facial recognition

The UK Post Office is planning to extend its digital identity services through a new contract with Yoti, under which it will provide a suite of biometric identity verification solutions for online and in-person ID checks.

Yoti’s facial recognition-based identity verification, age verification, esigning and anti-spoofing technology will be combined with the Post Office’s extensive network of branches.

The Post Office has been providing online identity verification for access to Gov.uk Verify services, and has issued nearly 4 million accounts.

A new, free Post Office App for customers will provide a reusable digital ID with biometric security and liveness detection on customers’ smartphones, giving them control over how they share their identity data, and helping to reduce fraud in the country, according to a Post Office announcement. The app will be launched in the Spring.

The deal also gives the Post Office a new source of potential revenue.

Identity verification, age checks, customer authentication and esignature services are included in the partnership, and will be available through the Post Office App. People will also be able to perform one-click applications for bank accounts, jobs, or mortgages, or provide proof of age for purchasing restricted goods or services, and picking up parcels.

“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,” says Yoti CEO Robin Tombs.

“We have already invested over £85m creating a world-leading ID platform that removes the friction from outdated ID processes, puts individuals in control of their identity, preserves privacy and helps reduce identity fraud.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.”

The digital identity market in the UK is worth an estimated £2 to £4 billion (US$2.8 to $5.6 billion) each year, and growing at a 5 percent annual rate, the Post Office says, citing McKinsey research.

Passport and driving license renewals can also be performed through the Post Office, and seven million identity-related transactions were carried out at Post Office branches in 2020 despite lockdown restrictions.

A pilot of in-branch services will be offered in partnership with Yoti will start in July at 750 Post Offices.

The digital ID could also include vaccination status, which Tombs discussed as a means of restoring cross-border movement in a recent World Economic Forum webinar.

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