GOV.UK Verify partner scheme adds five new members

Barclays, GB Group, Morpho, PayPal and Royal Mail join four other companies verified to perform citizen identification checks

Barclays, GB Group, Morpho, PayPal and Royal Mail will join four other organisations allowed to perform government service identity checks as part of the GOV.UK Verify initiative.

In total, nine companies are allowed to carry out the checks for services including HMRC's Self-Assessment tax returns, Rural Payments, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, company car tax and to claim a redundancy or insolvency payment with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Anyone who needs to have an identity check can decide which company runs the verification and they can change their mind if they use it again in future.

The government said that by giving consumers the choice of which provider to use means no one stores your details and neither is it passed onto the government.

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The first time your identity is checked, the process takes around 15 minutes. Thereafter, it takes around a minute every time you sign up to new service.

Part of this 15-minute check includes 2-factor authentication, which involves entering a passcode sent to your phone via SMS.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: "We are making it easier for everyone to prove their identity online without building a single database or reintroducing an illiberal ID card scheme. Our online verification scheme empowers citizens to select the provider they want to manage and prove their identity."

The government predicts nearly 500,000 users would be verified using the service by April 2015, but current figures lag behind this with 25,600 registrations and 55,000 sign in confirmed to date.

Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central said in a Parliamentary debate earlier this week: "It was only in October that the government were predicting that hundreds of thousands would be verified by now. In fact, only 50 per cent of people are successful the first time they use the service."

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