The government’s recent announcement to extend the use of digital identity in the UK was welcome and needed for the mortgage market – however, it might have done us all a disservice by ruling out ID cards in both their physical and digital form. Our CEO Conor Murphy describes how digital ID cards could transform the mortgage process here.

What if there was a way to only ever have to verify someone’s identity once?

Digital ID cards could make this possible, and although the government recently ruled out their introduction in the short term, there would be several benefits if a change of mind came to pass.

Progressing past paper

Over recent months, the continuing operation of credit in all settings has depended on the online verification of borrowers, their income details, and more.

Digital ID increases efficiency, reduces fraud risk and provides a smoother, more secure application process for every single stakeholder.

There’s just one downside – you have to do it for each application. Digital ID cards would make verification a one stop shop.

Taking the next step

It seems logical that we should push forward for minimal repetition and duplication of work for borrower, broker, and lender alike.

A nationwide implementation of digital ID cards could take us closer to that reality and the benefits would be felt in every situation reliant on credit assessments.

At Smartr365, we’ve already made significant strides towards a smooth digital ID verification process.

The platform integrates Digidentity’s digital ID verification service, which also underpins the UK government’s GOV.UK verify service. Brokers using the platform now simply need to request the client to begin the fact find, and from there the end-to-end platform can remotely verify the customer’s identity and carry the details forward through each stage of the entire mortgage journey.

We expect this level of convenience to become more widely spread as the government works to extend the use of digital identity as per its recent commitment. However, the use of ID cards could make ID verification a one-time thing and make a real difference throughout the UK.

Those which innovate fastest will set themselves apart, but decision makers need to create the right conditions. We hope to see the decision against digital ID cards reconsidered in future.