Experian wins £7M UK government contract for cloud knowledge-based identity verification
Experian has won a further contract with the UK government to provide a cloud-based, knowledge-based verification system for the Government Digital Service (GDS) which is currently developing its One Login digital identity solution for proving identity online.
The £7 million (US$8.4 million), 24-month contract follows a few months after Experian won two other contracts for the UK Digital Identity Programme totalling almost £11 million ($12.6 million). These covered digital identity authentication software and email and phone validation services. All three are to be cloud-based.
The upcoming One Login for Government is a digital identity and single sign-on service that is intended to provide verified access to many thousands of services. It is currently in beta.
The latest contract is heavily redacted, offering only: “The provision of a cloud software solution to facilitate knowledge based verification questions to users and validated responses to GDS.”
The UK does not have a national identity credential, which has made consumer credit agencies’ databases an important part of the pool of answers including government data on which to base questions to verify a person’s identity.
The GDS team has money to spend. Following an October 2021 £4.8 million tender, Deloitte was been appointed to develop a smartphone app to check individuals’ identities for One Login, iProov won an £11.6 million contract for a genuine document check service including NFC reading as well as a further £5.9 million contract for biometrics.
One Login is “making real progress” in some areas, according to the latest update, while certain aspects are struggling, such as verification and authentication for organizations and for delegated authorities. HMRC, the tax authority, expects to migrate to the new system for certain accounts in summer 2023 amid various streams of digitization. Full deployment is planned for 2025.
Scotland is collaborating on the UK project, but is also developing its own digital identity system. The UK government is also spending £4.1 million ($4.9 million) to dismantle Verify, One Login’s digital identity predecessor.