Digital ID: What are the possibilities?

Digital ID: What are the possibilities?

Digital ID screening as part of Right to Work checks has been available to employers as a legitimate option now for a year. The benefits that the introduction of Digital Right to Work and Digital ID for DBS checks bring to employers include an improved candidate experience, improved accuracy in spotting fake or fraudulent documents, and improved efficiency for recruiters.

Developers, campaigners, and government departments are now looking at the future of Digital ID, and how this technology can be applied to a plethora of situations to benefit everyone.

What is digital ID?

Digital ID is a secure, fast and reusable way of proving identity.

Digital identities enable people to prove who they are using digital technology instead of physical documents. This is increasingly useful, if not essential, in a progressively digital world. Digital identities can be more convenient, more cost-effective and safer than scanning and sending physical documents.

Currently, Digital IDs are used on a single-use basis, meaning a new digital ID needs to be created for each company or provider that someone uses. However, work is underway to allow for permanent and portable Digital IDs to be created and reused for a number of different applications.

What are the possible benefits of Digital ID?

  • Economic and efficiency savings - the use of secure digital identities should save British businesses and consumers time and money, and a conservative estimate from Deloitte is a ceiling of £800 million per year across the UK economy.
  • Increased convenience – Digital identities make it easier for individuals and businesses to access services while maintaining privacy and security.
  • Data security – With digital identities, people need only share the data required, meaning improved privacy.
  • Fraud reduction – increased digital security measures should make fraud more difficult.

What could the future of Digital ID look like?

In financial services, travel, property transactions, age-restricted products, and business identity, digital ID can provide reduced costs, and improved efficiency, as well as privacy and fraud benefits.

The Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT) are working, for example, with the Treasury on enabling digital identity in the financial services sector, meaning that other digitally stored data such as credit reports and scores can be shared alongside ID information, meaning the accuracy of credit reporting can be improved and therefore the quality of service for customers.

Additionally, international interoperability for Digital IDs is being worked on, meaning it can work as a digital passport and can be used in a range of applications across the globe.

In employment and hiring, Digital IDs can contain information on employment history, references, and qualifications certificates, meaning that candidates can apply for jobs with their employment background readily available and verified, providing a host of benefits to the employment market, businesses, and work seekers.

Many employers are already using digital identity as part of their hiring processes, but due to its current limitations, are using it in a restricted way, requiring candidates to create a digital identity from scratch. In future, the vision is that everyone will have a trusted digital identity that can be shared over and over, instead of scanning physical documents each time. This could be used for job applications, but also for holiday bookings, account setup, property purchase, and a host of other activities.

The benefits of Digital ID in recruitment

The benefits of using digital identity in employment include:

  • Improved candidate and employee experience
  • Efficiencies gained when integrated across the full employee journey
  • Ability to combine digital identities with verified attributes to meet specific needs
  • Compatible with remote and hybrid work environments
  • More secure and less susceptible to fraud than physical processes.

These are particularly true of digital identities bound by attributes - e.g. attached to qualifications or training.

Internally, digital identities can be integrated with other systems. For example, integrating data on employees’ training via their digital IDs with the internal compliance system means that it’s simpler to ensure that individuals are correctly trained in essential issues specific to their positions. 

The current referencing and work history process is slow, insecure, and easily defrauded. However, the use of digital identities that are attached to referencing and work history has the potential to significantly accelerate the hiring process.

A digital wallet that attaches qualifications, training history, and work history to a digital identity makes it easier for employees and candidates to move between sites and positions.

 Questions remain about how digital identity can work in different situations. For example, how can we develop digital identities to be internationally interoperable, to ensure a seamless process for employees to work across and move between different countries?

There are so many opportunities to use digital identities across the employee life cycle, and as the technology, regulation, and security frameworks are developed, the potential that Digital ID represents is very exciting indeed.

How can Reed Screening help?

At Reed Screening, we have years of experience in providing fast, smooth, and thorough employee screening and background checks, to bolster your candidate experience. Our AssuredID service offers an easy and accurate way to verify a candidate’s ID digitally.

For more information, get in touch with our team.