The British government is now searching for a technology partner to build a new digital identity verification app that would allow people to access various government services through their smartphones. The procurement notice comes courtesy of Government Digital Service (GDS), and details a project that is expected to run for as long as two years and be worth as much as £4.8 million.
Any developer looking to win the contract will be expected to deliver an app with several core functionalities. Most notably, the app must be able to run on both iOS and Android devices, and it needs to be able to read the NFC chips that are becoming increasingly common in next-generation identity documents. It should also be compatible with an anticipated single sign-on feature that would allow British residents to access many different government services through a centralized portal.
In terms of process, the company that wins the contract will be working with GOV.UK and GDS’s digital identity team. The majority (75 percent) of all GOV.UK traffic is already coming through mobile channels, and GDS is hoping to further refine that experience moving forward. In that regard, the organization is hoping that the app will simplify the identity check process and make government services more convenient for end users, both now and in the future.
GDS has already completed a discovery process for its broader web identity procedures, and is now preparing to move forward with a beta program. The organization is now doing the same for its app, and the process will presumably accelerate once it selects a technology partner.
“We must now determine the evolution of this experience, ensuring that GOV.UK continues to offer solutions that are relevant and efficient for all users, including those whose interactions would benefit from being app based,” wrote GDS in its procurement notice.
The move speaks to the growing interest in consolidated national identity programs, with New Zealand, France, and the Philippines also taking steps to improve their digital government services. GDS itself has previously published a Good Practice Guide for organizations that need to verify the identities of their customers and their employees.
Source: UK Authority