Sergii Figurnyi - One Login accounts on the rise

Since August 2023, more than 1.8 million people verified their identity using the One Login app, while face-to-face verifications have also increased

The number of people verifying their identity using the One Login service has steadily increased over the past eight months, according to government figures.

Answering a series of parliamentary questions from Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth, Cabinet Office minister Alex Burghart revealed that on average, more than 200,000 people verify their identity using the One Login app each month, with January 2024 seeing a whopping 342,315 people successfully verifying their identity on the app.

In total, as of March 2024, more than 3.8 million people have successfully verified their identity on the app, which currently stands at around five million downloads.

However, the number of users who prefer to verify their identity in person has also increased. In 2023, the government signed a partnership with the Post Office for a face-to-face service run by postmasters, where those who cannot, or do not want to, use the One Login app or website to verify their identity can do so at their local Post Office branch.

In August 2023, only 154 people chose to use the face-to-face service, while in February 2024, more than 2,000 chose to do so. In total, more than 8,500 people have gone to their local Post Office to verify their identity.

Burghart said that since the contract with the Post Office went live, “as of 26 March 2024, the Government Digital Service has spent £778,064 on the contract with the Post Office to set up and undertake in-person identity checks”. Citizens are also able to verify their identity online, using a web browser through answering security questions, and so far, 53,000 have chosen to use this route.

The government launched a One Login customer support centre at the end of October 2023, where people can get help with verifying their identity either over the phone, email or an online form. So far, the customer support centre has handled a total of 34,200 help requests.

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Burghart said that as of 16 April 2023, users “will also have the option of using WebChat to seek support”.

“The public expects quick, secure and user-friendly access to government services,” he said. “Previously, UK citizens and residents needed to grapple with multiple sign-in methods and identity verification routes when using government services online. One Login is replacing these duplicative systems across government with a single account and identity checking system.”

The three-year, £400m project to create a digital identity system – to be mandated for use across government departments – has also rapidly increased its user base among government services.

Answering a parliamentary question by fellow peer Ross Kempsell, Lucy Neville Rolfe revealed last month (March 2024) that 30 government services are now using the app, with “further government services – from HMRC to DWP and DVLA – due to come on board over the next year”.

Government services already using One Login include the Apply for an HM Armed Forces Veteran Card service, the Disclosure and Barring Service, HM Land Registry’s mortgage deed signing service, the Modern Slavery Unit’s modern slavery statement registry, as well as an identity-checking app for users of HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Government Gateway who hold a driving licence.

Earlier in April 2024, the government also published guidance on how to help someone use One Login. The guidance said that when helping someone, they should complete as many steps as they can by themselves, but can get help through borrowing a phone or computer if they do not have their own. However, “you should always avoid entering information on behalf of the person you’re helping”, the guidance said.

“They can prove their identity by entering their details and answering security questions if they cannot use the app,” it said. “Only the person you’re helping should be able to answer these security questions. You should not try to do this for them. You should look away when they answer the security questions if you’re helping them in person.”

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