According to the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) 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, and this is made possible by ePassport NFC chip reading using ReadID.
To support the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, the EU Settlement Scheme 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.
“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.”
This innovative service is powered by ReadID, which reads the ePassport chip’s security features to authenticate the legitimacy of the document, as part of WorldReach’s Know You Traveller platform. Also part of the identity verification is selfie matching. This is achieved by comparing the secure reference image from the ePassport chip to a live selfie captured by smartphone camera. This service supports not only ePassports, but also UK biometric residence cards and EU citizen eID cards, all using ICAO standards.
The UK Home Office Service 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.
The figures prove its success and show why NFC based identity verification is the way forward:
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 NFC at large scale.
Over 2,300 different makes and models of Android and iOS devices have been used to complete the identity verification process.
The service is scalable, with peaks of 25,000-30,000 applications per day as realized by the EUSS.
System Availability since the start of live production is 99.97%, 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.
“We are proud to have our mobile identity verification solution ReadID inside the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme,” according to Maarten Wegdam, managing partner of InnoValor. “Using NFC we can remotely determine the authenticity of the identity document at the trust level that is needed for. In addition, the high-resolution face-image from the chip enables secure facial matching. This use case clearly demonstrates why NFC First is the best approach in remote identity verification.”
“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, CEO of WorldReach. “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.”