Public Services > Central Government

OIX meeting weighs up the economics of identity

David Bicknell Published 21 November 2017

Meeting of digital identity specialists, banks, ID providers and relying parties urges need for greater collaboration, requisite government backing and interoperability of identity standards


Last Friday, the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) held an event which discussed the economics of identity.

The event, the third such annual OIX economics of identity conference, was hosted by Barclays and featured contributions from among others, the Government Digital Service (GDS), Barclays, Lord Maude, Experian, Mastercard, and the Post Office.

Key themes for the day included the government’s GOV.UK Verify identity assurance scheme, the importance of citizen consent; the interoperability of technical systems; collaboration between market participants; and standards.

Looking ahead to the event, OIX chairman Don Thibeau had argued that the conference came at an ‘inflection point’ for the UK.

He suggested, “Whether a challenger or big bank, a FI or ASP, those impacted by global Open Banking initiatives are challenged to understand the implications of regulations and standards begun in the UK on the global identity ecosystem. He added, “This challenge comes at the same time the Cabinet Office is working through a scheme or trust framework for the reuse of GOV.UK Verify identity services.”

At the event, there was a call for collaboration between identity providers and for relying parties to come and work together with identity providers and for government to back the collaboration efforts.

Discussing the day’s deliberations, Thibeau said, “The recurring theme of the day's discussion was the importance of maintaining the global interoperability of the UK's banking and identity management systems.  The UK's global leadership in the emerging identity ecosystems is challenged by a widening gap between new EU regulations around the permissible use of data and the "wild west" ethos of Silicon Valley. All agreed on the urgency of collaboration between UK's public and private sectors." 

Some memorable statements from the day included:

  • “Market participants (private sector + public sector) want an open market based on open standards. Sense of frustration of slow progress during 2017 but 2018 will bring game changers impacting digital identity. Those factors will be GDPR, Open Banking, PSD2.”
  • "GOV.UK Verify is the only digital identity scheme in the UK; there is no other. If another wants to come along and challenge it, I welcome it. Competition is good."
  • "…without Government involved in some way it [digital identity] just won't work.”
  • “Verify: the only standard for digi identity in the UK. GOV.UK has kick started it - we have to pick up the mantle.”
  • “Identity is more about a collage of dynamic data than a user id and password.”
  • “Digital Identity depends on standards. Government's primary role is to set and maintain those standards.”
  • "Knowing who the person is who they say they are is a small part; knowing more about them is where digital identity starts to get interesting and makes it possible to do something."
  • "[There is]..not one government/company/agency on the planet that can solve the digital identity problem alone; it's about the ecosystem. It’s time for private sector to come together and get on with it."
  • “The consumer is the ID product, it’s all about servicing the needs of the consumer.”
  • “There is no one ID to rule them all because that’s not how people live.”
  • “Interoperability of identity standards will become more important no matter the outcome of Brexit.”
  • “Post Office have a role to play in helping build critical mass in digital identity services.”

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.