GDS announces eighth Identity Assurance provider
PayPal joins seven other firms to deliver programme to support universal credit
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has announced that online payments provider PayPal is to join the seven other providers already chosen to design and deliver its Identity Assurance programme.
The Post Office, Mydex, Cassidian, Ingeus, Experian, Digidentity, Verizon, and now PayPal, will be responsible for delivering a secure online identity registration service. The framework agreements run for 18 months and the total value of the framework is £25m. According to the contract description, "systems will need to be fully operational from spring 2013."
According to a blog post on the GDS website, "As a founder member of the Open Identity Exchange (OIX), which provides a structured conversation between the Cabinet Office on behalf of the UK Government and a market of providers committed to interoperability, PayPal adds their high profile and expertise in the online transacting space."
The post adds, "Of course, this is just the beginning of the process. The real work of realising our ambitions for identity assurance services can now begin. We're working closely with departments to develop an identity assurance process that can be adapted and reused right across government, benefiting users and service providers alike with a simpler, faster, better and safer way to access and transact with government services."
The Identity Assurance programme is a cross-government scheme, but the providers are contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as the programme will initially be used to support the deployment of Universal Credit when it goes live in October 2013.
Announcing the first tranche of providers in November 2012, the DWP said, "The identity registration service will enable benefit claimants to choose who will validate their identity by automatically checking their authenticity with the provider before processing online benefit claims."
"As well as offering a safe and secure system, providers will be required to offer a simplified registration process, minimise the number of usernames and passwords a customer will need to remember and reduce the costs incurred across Government for the management of Identity Assurance."
The service is eventually expected to be available to all citizens requiring identity verification when accessing online public services.