Royal Mail Launches Certified Identity Service

Royal Mail has launched its certified identity service that connects to GOV.UK Verify, the new way to safely and securely access government services online.

Their identity service has been built to meet government specifications and forms part of the identity verification process that gives citizens online access to an increasing range of government services whilst protecting them from identity theft.

As a GOV.UK Verify certified company, Royal Mail will ‘verify’ the identity of consumers using their name, gender, address and date of birth. Users will also be asked to supply a passport or driver’s licence number to further validate that they are the person they say they are. These checks may vary, depending on the level of assurance the service requires, but could include counter-fraud checks and activity history. To maximise the prospect of successfully verifying an individual’s identity, Royal Mail will use multiple data providers.

If the information matches, users will be granted a unique online identity, with username and password. The process will be quick, easy and free for consumers. It will also give people control over their own data, eliminating the need for information about individuals to be stored in one central government database.

The chances are high that at some point you’ll be one of the 10 million people a year predicted to use the system. There are already nine digital services available including claiming a tax refund, getting a pension statement, submitting a tax self-assessment and applying for Universal Credit. A further 15 are expected to roll out over the next 18 months. These include amending a driver record, applying for child maintenance and signing a mortgage deed.

Royal Mail is one of nine certified companies chosen by the GOV.UK Verify to act as an ID service provider. As the Universal Service provider, Royal Mail is entrusted with the delivery of mail to the UK’s 29 million addresses. The secure management of complex data, in particular the Postcode Address File used for delivery, is at the core of the company’s expertise.

Jim Conning, Managing Director of Royal Mail Data Services says that the new certified identity service is part of ROyal Mail’s strategy to innovate and introduce new platforms where they can grow, while maintaining their leading position in the letters and parcels markets.