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National ‘trusted’ digital identity scheme pilot for property industry begins

Stuart Young, who has built the platform that enables the scheme, is urging estate agents and all the players within the property industry to get on board.

Nigel Lewis

stuart young digital identity

The industry figure behind attempts to usher in a identity-checking system that will work across all the home buying and selling sectors has urged estate agents to embrace the tech and help reduce fraud as a national pilot launches.

As we reported in August, half a dozen estate agents have already been signed up to be the first to try out the pilot.

Stuart Young (main pic), who is heading up the MyIdentity.org.uk initiative, says it now has the backing of both government ministers, regulators, property software providers such as Reapit as well as several high profile agents including Savills.

His comments follow the start of the scheme’s pilot this week, which will run until August and which is being watched by the government and regulators closely.

But for it to become a national reality, Young says estate agents, lenders, brokers and conveyancers need to embrace the platform, which enables buyers and sellers to verify their identity just once.

“When a similar system was introduced in Norway, it reduced fraud from 1% of all property transactions to just 0.00042%,” he told a webinar hosted by Danny Belton of L&G Mortgage Club.

“The crucial thing here is to persuade all the players within the different industries including estate agents that they can trust the ID verification the MyIdentity platform will provide them for each buyer or vendor who approaches them to buy or sell a home.

GDPR issues solved

“It will also solve issues around GDPR because the clients will be in control of their data.”

Young says the scheme has high-level backing within both the department of housing and the DCMS, the latter of which is coordinating the use of digital identity in other areas. Therefore digital identity is ‘at the top of their agenda’ at both departments.

Until now, Young says, “the challenge has been that conveyancers won’t accept the ID verification checks done by estate agents and vice versa, but MyIdentity will solve this impasse”.

November 2, 2021

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