Tech firms launch digital identity scheme for real estate

A digital identity scheme has been launched for the residential real estate market with five technology companies joining the pilot stage.

Created by technology provider Etive following a grant from Innovate UK, the aim of the MyIdentity digital identity scheme is to allow property buyers and sellers to prove their identity once, rather than multiple times. This is expected to reduce transaction completion times.

The scheme started with identity service providers Digidentity, Nuggets, OBiD, Thirdfort and Yoti. The pilot runs from November 2021 to August 2022 and more providers are expected to join the initiative in 2022.

According to Etive, the program will be tested at 11 locations, including the Battersea, Chiswick, Clapham, Putney, Wimbledon, Richmond and Kew locations in London. The plan will also be piloted in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Harrogate and York.

“For the trust scheme pilot, we have ensured the use of proven hub technology capable of seamlessly connecting identity service providers and participants,” said Stuart Young, managing director of Etive.

Additionally, Young noted that production grade technology is provided by UK service provider Mvine. “[This] it means that the pilot can focus on solving the needs of the users of the scheme instead of wasting time ‘fixing the pipes’ of IT, ”he added, referring to the integrator.

In addition to property buyers and sellers, the digital identity trust center can be used by other actors in the real estate ecosystem, such as mortgage lenders, transmitters, lawyers and real estate agents.

According to Etive, in addition to fast completion times, the MyIdentity project is expected to allow for lighter administration processes, as well as an alternative to mitigate the risk of mortgage and property fraud.

In August 2021, the government released the second version of its Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework, which sets out how digital identity providers can be certified, making it easier for people to use digital identity services. Organizations can join the trust framework on their own or by joining an existing scheme with multiple organizations, for example operating in the same industry.

The MyIdentity scheme is an example of a digital identity project focused on the sector. The real estate industry has already adopted digital identity verification, and it is formally recognized in the Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019.

Work on the initiative, which adheres to government-endorsed standards, began in 2019. It follows input and consultations with more than 100 actors, including the government itself, as well as regulators and commercial bodies from the real estate agency, legal services and financial. and the digital identity sector.

The project is in line with the plans of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to create a framework of trust with digital identity standards that will guide the identity market.

The UK government estimates that digital identity has the potential to save the UK economy £ 750 million a year. Earlier this month, the Government Digital Service launched a search for a technology provider to develop a new common digital identity verification for access to government services.

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