PayPal picked by UK government for online ID assurance

UK govt could be integrating PayPal

PayPal has been added to the list of ‘identity providers’ that can be reused by government departments. UK citizens may soon be able to log in to government websites using their PayPal accounts.

The Government Digital Service announced that the US online payments company has been added to the Identity Assurance supplier framework. This means government departments may in future chose to reuse the company’s log-in system for online public services. It is the eighth company to join the framework. Other certified ID suppliers include the Post Office, credit reference agency Experian and Cassidian, a subsidiary of military contractor EADS.

There is no obligation for any department to use any of the suppliers listed in the framework, however. The first government IT system that will use these Identity Assurance suppliers will be Universal Credit, the Department of Work and Pensions’ new benefits processing system. A spokesperson for DWP told Information Age that it has yet to decide which ID Assurance providers will be supported. The idea is to provide citizens a choice of identity providers, with minimal cost to the government.

PayPal is a founder member of the Open Identity Exchange (OIX), a global project to build a system of standards and governance processes that allow identity credentials to be shared between trusted bodies (also known as a ‘trust framework’). The UK’s Cabinet Office joined the OIX in June last year.

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