The race to achieve a digitalised society has never been more pressing as digital processes streamline many industries, however many people are being excluded from enrolling onto digital ID ecosystems due to a lack of central data records and not having digitalised versions of identity documents.

In addition to the half a billion people living without a digital ID, the Open Identity Exchange has highlighted the millions more that could face exclusion from digital ID systems because other methods of verification are not being leveraged. The solution? Digital ‘vouching’ should be introduced, according to Open Identity Exchange.

Digital vouching is a process that involves a person who is already trusted legally, vouching for another individual they have known for some time, but who is struggling to prove who they are.

As authentication technologies grow in application, there is a common misconception that citizens are being easily connected with businesses and public services on more efficient systems.

However, Government databases where there is not always comprehensive records of citizen data are having an impact on people being unable to enrol onto new digital-ID systems.

Digital vouching has the potential to resolve these issues when people do not have a digitalised ID document or a bank account to verify their identity.

These ‘ID challenged’ individuals will benefit most from digital vouching as a ‘root of trust’ credential throughout the enrolment process, which will allow them to create their own trusted digital ID.

The OIX believes that a digital vouch will facilitate digital ID ecosystems becoming more inclusive and robust with data and is urging governments and trust framework providers to implement it as a key source of evidence for the whole enrolment process.

Nick Mothershaw, Chief Identity Strategist at OIX, said: “Almost everything, including appointments, transactions and operations, is now taking place online. Solving the identity problem has to be a priority for everyone otherwise large sections of society will continue to be excluded.

“Our message is clear: we will not achieve an inclusive digital ID ecosystem if digital vouching is not implemented by governments and trust frameworks.”