Today sees the launch of Yoti, the new free smartphone app which aims to change the way we prove our identity. It lets you instantly prove your age and who you are, online and in person with a digital identity that has been verified by a government-issued ID document – either a passport or UK driving licence.
Over 40,000 people in the UK have pre-registered to download the free app, which is available now for iPhones here and Android phones here.
The Yoti app gives anyone the ability to check the verified name, photo and age of people they meet online, as well as letting you prove verified information about yourself. Yoti hopes this will help tackle fraud and crime rates on a variety of websites including online dating sites and websites where people buy and sell goods, or rent out their homes or holiday rentals.
Some websites, like Freeads.co.uk, have already chosen to use Yoti to let users display verified profiles, as well as to encourage their users to verify one another with Yoti. There is, however, no requirement for the business to integrate with Yoti because people can simply download the app and ask the person they are talking to online to do the same.
Dan Newman, Managing Director at Freeads: “Building trust amongst our community of buyers and sellers is incredibly important and this simple way of letting them verify each other’s details free of charge could be a game changer for sites like ours. We expect it to create a far safer environment for customers using our site and indeed any other sites where people need to communicate and transact either online or in person.”
People can also use Yoti to prove their age on nights out, with early adopter nightclubs already accepting Yoti as a form of ID. Several large businesses from a wide range of sectors, including financial services, recruitment and retail, have also started to test Yoti by integrating it into some of their processes.
The process of setting up a Yoti takes just a few minutes. After downloading the free app, users are asked to create their digital identities through a combination of taking a selfie, verifying their mobile number, adding a PIN, completing a ‘liveness’ test, then scanning a government issued document with their smartphone. The Yoti app also reads the e-chip in passports (like at border control) with NFC enabled smartphones, to further verify the integrity of the document.
When people use Yoti they only need to show the information required to get the job done. For example, if you need to prove your name and age you can do just that, and keep your address and other personal details to yourself. If you use your driving licence for age verification in a nightclub, for example, the person verifying your identity can see all of the information on the document, including your address and a photo you might have had taken years ago.
“The way we prove our identity is broken,” said Robin Tombs, CEO, Yoti. “It hasn’t kept pace with our increasingly digital world, and Yoti will fix this in such a way that gives people maximum control over their personal details. We want to increase trust between consumers and the organisations they interact with, as well as between people meeting online.”