A couple of weeks ago Rob Laurence was invited to speak at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa, Florida. This summit is the U.S. federal government’s primary outreach and collaboration-building event with the worldwide identity community.

Rob’s presentation looked at extending the use of the government-issued digital identity into the financial sector in the UK. Starting with the UK approach to federated digital identities, Rob spoke about GOV.UK Verify which went live in May 2016 and currently has 9 live services across 5 departments and approaching 900,000 issued digital identities.

The presentation covered the UK Government Digital Service’s (part of the Cabinet Office) vision to extend the use of GOV.UK Verify into local government and the NHS, and for citizens to eventually be able to use their GOV.UK Verify-issued digital identity with financial institutions.

Rob explained the investment the government had made in Verify as an identity scheme. How it epitomises a privacy-by-design architecture, based on a widely-accepted set of identity assurance principles. Why it should be considered as an asset comprising good practice guides, operating standards, certification standards and compliance processes, digital service standards, thousands of hours of user research, and live services and users. An asset that the government is offering to the finance industry.

Rob explained how the government is working with the industry to address key questions: would users be willing to reuse a government-issued digital identity with a bank or other financial institution; would a financial institution be willing to use it; and what are the issues and challenges that need to be addressed.