The United Kingdom has enlisted the help of major bank Barclays and digital payments firm PayPal to prevent fraud, according to reports.
Barclays, PayPal, GB Group, Morpho and Royal Mail have all been chosen by U.K. officials to help identify and verify identities through the GOV.UK Verify platform. The five firms will operate on the federal identity assurance framework, and they join existing partners Experian, the Post Office, Digidentity and Verizon.
“These companies will continue to provide services for GOV.UK Verify and transition smoothly onto the new framework over the next few months,” an official from the Cabinet Office said in a statement.
According to reports, these companies will become accredited as official suppliers to support the government ID verification platform within the next few months, though exact details of a timetable were not disclosed. Together, these partnerships are part of the government’s efforts to migrate its existing 25 digital exemplar services online. “We are making it easier for everyone to prove their identity online without building a single database or reintroducing an illiberal ID card scheme.” Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said. “Our online verification scheme empowers citizens to select the provider they want to manage and prove their identity.”
A sixth company, Mydex, will also partner with the government to aid in data sharing, though it will not become a certified provider under the government scheme, the firm said.
At present, Experian, Digidentity and the Post Office are the sole accredited service providers that support the first framework, though reports said Verizon is expected to become accredited soon.
The five new suppliers to support the framework were announced following a public tender that looked to choose up to 10 firms to provide identity verification services for the government, reports said. That tender was launched last year as officials looked to add more data sets to the verification program.
All companies chosen to support the framework, even those already accredited, will need to re-apply for government approval to support the second framework version, according to the program’s head Janet Hughes.
According to recent reports, identity fraud led to $16 billion worth of theft in 2014, an issue that hit an estimated 12.7 million people.