Beginner’s guide to certified companies and GOV.UK Verify

GOV.UK is the new online home for Government services right? So why aren’t all aspects of it being run by the government? Up until now, the Government hasn’t asked us to choose from a list of private companies when we needed to prove who we were on line, so what’s changed?

Digital access to government services is being overhauled and updated for the 21st Century. If you’ve become used to shopping or banking on line then you’ll like the new processes being introduced at GOV.UK, but you’ll notice some changes and you’ll probably have questions (See our FAQ section).

One of the first things you’ll notice is that you need to choose a “certified company” to verify your identity before you can access the private services you want. This is one aspect of the new system that many people struggle to understand. Over the past six months, as part of our research and development programme for SecureIdentity,  we’ve spoken to thousands of UK citizens. The question of why people are being asked to choose from a list of private companies when they want to verify their ID and access services at GOV.UK comes up time and again.

When you think about it, it’s actually not all that unusual. These days, when you’re shopping on line, it’s pretty common to be directed to a third party once you get to the checkout. Online retailers specialise in the merchandise they sell and the range they offer. They are less well-equipped to guarantee secure credit card transactions, so they usually partner with a specialist like Worldpay or Sage Pay.

You might say the people at GOV.UK think in a similar way. Their commitment is to make sure that the best range of services are always easily available to citizens on line. To make sure that access to these services is always secure and straightforward, they’ve partnered with private companies that have expertise in securing identity online.

Competition delivers greater security

By offering citizens a choice of certified companies, the Government has created a competitive market for ID verification at GOV.UK. This ensures healthy competition and it puts you in control. At SecureIdentity we’re one of nine verification services you can choose from and we understand how critical it is to deliver the secure, straightforward service you need.

Each certified company has a track record in online security solutions or some aspect of online transactions where safeguarding data is a sensitive and critical issue. All of them meet the certification requirements set out by the Government.

Putting you in control

The first time you use GOV.UK Verify to access services, you’ll be given a choice of nine certified verification companies to obtain your own personal secure ID, so there’s plenty of choice. Choice is always great, but since the idea of choosing a certified company to keep your identity safe is new, how do you choose? Get a heads-up by reading our 5 things to know before choosing a GOV.UK Verify certified identity supplier.