WorldReach notes role in UK remote ID immigration programme

07/05/20

To support the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) was established by the Home Office to allow EEA nationals living in the UK to apply for a UK immigration status.

Applicants need only to complete three key steps - prove their identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions. As the Home Office wanted to make the application process as easy as possible for the estimated 3.5 million EEA nationals who would need to apply, they sought out new innovative and effective capabilities to include in an optional end-to-end digital application channel.

According to the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme Statistics March 2020, more than 3.1 million applications were successfully concluded, with the vast majority using the digital route. This marks the world’s largest, most successful digital on-boarding immigration programme using remote identity verification with ePassport chip reading and liveness detection.

Built on WorldReach’s Know Your Traveller platform, this innovative service is powered by IdentityReach, which reads the ePassport chip’s security features to authenticate the legitimacy of the document. Facial matching is achieved by comparing the secure reference image from the ePassport chip to a live selfie captured by smartphone camera. Genuine presence technology is applied to mitigate attempts at identity fraud. This service supports multiple eIDs including ePassports, UK biometric residence cards and EU citizen eID cards, all using ICAO standards.

The full public launch, following a three-month beta phase, commenced on March 30, 2019 and included three optional paths for EEA nationals to prove their identity in applying for status: mail-in; visit a local service provider; or a completely digital route. The vast majority chose the digital channel and completed the process successfully, including during COVID-19 closures.

This compares very favourably with the remote digital on-boarding rate achieved in the banking sector. According to Asia Bank Research, participants in their Excellence 2019 programme reported a dropout rate for on-boarding via digital channels as high as 80%. In a SIGNICAT report, the number one reason why banking customers abandoned an application was that “it took too long to complete”.

Significant statistics

  • More than 3.1 million applications have successfully concluded.
  • A high percentage completed their application in under 10 minutes, with a high level of identity assurance.
  • This was the first iOS app in production to read ICAO MRTD compliant chips via Near Field Communication (NFC) at large scale on iPhone 7 and above.
  • Over 2,300 different makes and models of Android and iOS devices have been used to complete the identity verification process.
  • IdentityReach service is scalable, with peaks of 25,000-30,000 applications per day as realized by the EUSS.
  • IDV System Availability since the start of live production is 97%, exceeding SLA commitments.
  • 2019 EUSS feedback survey results: 79% of applicants indicated that proving their identity through the app was either “very easy” or “fairly easy”. A further 7% found it neither difficult nor easy.
  • The app receives an average 4.1 star satisfaction rating on Google Play Store.

“There has never been a more crucial time for highly trusted, proven-in-use remote identity verification services given the Covid-19 situation, especially for government digital on-boarding and essential services delivery,” said Gordon Wilson, WorldReach CEO. “The EUSS is a very successful, scalable proof-point of what’s possible and achievable with the right end-to-end processes, technology and collaborative team.”

The innovative nature of WorldReach’s application of remote identity verification to immigration challenges has been recognized by the Home Office. (Jan 23 2020 HO News Team)  

A more detailed EUSS case study can be found here.

 

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