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Guest blog: Digital transformation starts with identity

Guest blog by Stuart Young, Founder of Etive.  First published in Society Matters magazine.

Stuart writes about improving the customer experience through reusable digital identities.

The last couple of years has seen a huge explosion in the use of digital technology and operating on-line.  In particular, we’ve probably all experienced the weird and wonderful things we can now do from our phones, at our own convenience, and at great speed. 

But what of the home buying and selling process?

Currently, consumers may have to prove their identity as many as five separate times during the home buying and selling process, which causes delays in the process, adds costs to everyone and creates greater friction for the consumer during an already stressful time.  Combined with this, identity provision is part of an unregulated market and property and mortgage fraud continues to increase.

Increasing surety into the home buying and selling process requires the industry to improve identity checking standards and work together to recognised industry standards.

Customers have an Identity

Customers now expect a reusable digital identity which would enable them to access services across multiple sectors, without having to keep proving who they are.  Having to use different identity verification processes, and different information, each time they have to ‘log into our account’ causes huge frustration for customers and is an easy way to lose them.

Digital Strategies to Improve the Customer Experience

People want to be able to engage with their building society in multiple ways and across multiple channels and they expect to be recognised each time.  Using multiple channels provides building societies with the benefit of access to huge amounts of data, allowing them to build up pictures and profiles of customers.

Consequently, the importance of a reusable digital identity has become the keystone to supporting and building digital transformation, and better meeting the consumer’s needs.  Once we know who our customer is, we can work with them in a far more efficient and seamless way, improving the customer experience and increasing loyalty.

Building Trust into Identity

How do we really know who our customer is and if their identity has been verified to a standard in which we can trust?

Within the mortgage lending process, as part of the home buying and selling process, the Government, through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, has put together a Digital Identity & Attribute Trust Framework (DIATF) which has set out definitive standards for Digital Identity.  Over the last year the industry has come together to embrace these improved standards of identity checking, using such schemes as the MyIdentity scheme, which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the home buying and selling process.

The MyIdentity scheme, aligned to the DIATF and AML Regulations of 2019, has been designed to enable a consumer to get their identity verified, once, to a recognised industry standard and against a set of Government standards.  Combined with this is the ability for the customer to own and share their identity with whomever, and whatever service, they want. 

This provides an environment for building societies to use the identity of a customer that has been through a recognised scheme with a certified identity service provider (IDSP), with the confidence and knowledge that their customer is really who they say they are. 

The MyIdentity scheme has been designed to increase customer convenience, reduce friction, increase the barriers to fraud, enhance the consumer’s control of their own identity and improve the process of digital transformation.

Next steps: To learn more about digital identity and how it can support you visit www.myidentity.org.uk

Posted by Stuart Young on 20 April 2022