Canada pioneers digital ID for all with new framework

This week, the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) announced the launch of a new framework for digital ID and authentication industry standards. The Pan Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF) will define how digital ID will roll out across Canada and will be alpha tested by DIACC members.

As a long-standing member of DIACC, we’re incredibly excited to see the launch of this framework that we’ve contributed to with knowledge gleaned from our long-standing experience in the digital identity space. The PCTF itself is a huge collaborative achievement and has received over 3,400 public comments provided by public and private stakeholders over four years.

Our Commercial Lead for Canada, Leigh Day, co-chairs their Innovation Expert Committee and also sits on their Outreach Expert Committee.


The time for digital ID is now 

The framework has been fast-tracked in the wake of the coronavirus crisis with the aim of rolling out digital ID to all levels of society as a key enabler for the Canadian economy. 

As outlined by Dave Nikolejsin, Board Chair at DIACC, “Canadians have had to deal with identity theft and fraud, high anxiety in accessing services that they were in dire need of while facing social distancing measures, and attempting to go about their lives as normally as possible. Digital ID minimizes all of those pain points, and elevates the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere.”

Image: Progressing the Pan Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF) infographic from DIACC website.

Our response to the pandemic

At Yoti, we’ve seen the appetite for digital identity solutions go from a nice-to-have to a necessity during the coronavirus crisis. With a global digital identity platform already developed over many years, we’ve been able to react quickly and apply our technology to help ease pressures.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we fast-tracked digital ID cards for the NHS to help them remotely equip their staff with secure identification that couldn’t be lost, stolen or mis-asserted. 

We extended these secure ID cards through our COVID pledge to charities and volunteer groups.The coronavirus crisis saw a drastic increase in fraud and doorstep scams at a time where issuing volunteers with physical ID cards was greatly complicated. Volunteer Edinburgh, Age UK and Tipperary Volunteer Centre are just a few of the organisations we’ve helped with free digital ID cards, and we’ve also gifted our identity verification technology to safeguard both the DoIT and the Co-op community platform.


Covid-19 testing in 30 minutes

We’re currently collaborating with biotech company GeneMe who have developed a COVID-19 test that can be analysed in 30 minutes with no need for a lab. Together, we’ve developed FRANKD with Yoti, a breakthrough system whereby people have their secure test result linked to their digital identity and issued to their phone via the Yoti app.

We’re currently in trials with Heathrow airport and believe our solution could be fundamental to protecting citizens whilst getting the economy back on track.


Canada leads the way for digital ID

We’re really excited by the launch of the PCTF and we look forward to hearing results from the alpha testing in the coming months. For further information on our involvement with Digital Identity in Canada, or DIACC, please get in touch at

Celebrating International Identity Day 2020

Today marks International Identity Day. It falls on September 16th in recognition of Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 , which commits the international community to providing a means of identity to all by 2030. As we celebrate today, it’s worth reminding ourselves what it means to not be able to prove who you are. 

In the developed world, we’re used to providing identification even for routine transactions such as opening a mobile phone account at a local store. We can readily produce a combination of photo ID, proof of bank details and a utility bill to confirm our address. We take it for granted that we can prove who we are when we need to, but that’s not the case for over a billion people in other parts of the world.

Substitute mobile phones for education, financial services, healthcare or social services for you and your family, and not being able to prove who you are can have serious consequences. As a result, the global development community has turned its attention to the one-in-seven people on the planet who “don’t officially exist” in many eyes because they lack a formal identity through any easily-presentable paperwork. 

In recognition of the scale of the problem, identity was included within the United Nations’ Social Development Goals (SDGs), launched in 2015 with the goal of providing legal identity for all by 2030 including free birth registrations. Around the world, 250 million children under five didn’t have their birth registered, and in sub-Saharan Africa alone over 50 per cent of children remain unregistered by their fifth birthday. If the tap feeding this unregistered birth epidemic can be turned off, then we can at least stop the problem getting any bigger. 

Not having something as straightforward as a birth certificate can be profound. Thirty-two countries in sub-Saharan Africa require a birth certificate to access education, 16 require one to access social support, and six to access healthcare. In Indonesia a birth certificate is the only form of legal identity, yet 58 per cent of the poorest children don’t have their births registered. As they get older, how do they claim rights to things like land, inheritance and nationality?

International Identity Day is designed to highlight each of these issues and help rally the global humanitarian and tech communities to develop solutions.

At Yoti, since our founding in 2014 we have been fully committed to the concept of digital identity for all. Our commercial activities are centred around online tools and apps that allow people to prove who they are, whilst our social purpose activities support the building of solutions for those without mobile devices, or without access to the Internet, in less developed countries.

You can read more about these efforts on our website here, or in this downloadable Social Purpose Strategy deck.


Written by Ken Banks our Head of Social Purpose

The UK government’s digital identity consultation response

We’re pleased to see the publication of the UK government’s Digital Identity: Consultation Response. We and others, like techUK, have been calling on the government to reveal its plans for digital identity and this response is a step in the right direction.

There are three things that we particularly like.

Principles-based approach

First, the need for a principles-based approach, spanning privacy, transparency, inclusivity, interoperability, proportionality and good governance.

Yoti was founded on core business principles, which have enabled us to develop a suite of digital identity products with the user’s interests at their core. 

It’s good to see the government following the same approach, and that their principles will be reviewed annually so that they can be kept in line with legal and normative developments in the UK. 

Broad application of digital ID

Secondly, the government has signalled that there is legislation in the works to ensure that digital ID can be used as broadly as possible.  We know there are some easy wins for the government, like changing the existing mandatory licensing regime for alcohol sales to allow retailers to rely on robust, privacy-preserving digital age verification. In addition, the industry seeks certainty that amendments, such as usage of digital ID for Right to Rent Checks, will continue after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

More data sources

Finally, the government intends to open up additional data sources.  There are specific data sets that the government controls, which could be used to combat fraud, such as DVLA data and death registries. 

The Document Checking Service pilot is underway but it’s currently limited to passport data.  If the government wants to show it’s serious about using digital identity to stop fraudsters, it needs to think about enabling other key data to be checked against by digital identity providers.


Digital identity for economic recovery

The central role played by digital identity in underpinning the digital economy and helping the country’s economic recovery means there’s a strong case for the government to act on its statements swiftly. 

However, the lack of specifics or timelines in the government’s response makes us worried that the implementation of digital ID, which requires cross-departmental working, is yet to have clear ownership and a clear mandate to enable digital identity to support the UK’s economic recovery. 

Clearly, now is the time for combined and transparent action across key government departments and a timeline for legislative changes as modelled by leaders such as Canada and Singapore. 

Heathrow Airport trials FRANKD with Yoti – our 30 minute COVID-19 testing system

Summer 2020 has been and gone like no other, dominated by efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and adapt to new norms. Travel restrictions and two-week quarantines have impacted summer and brought the travel industry to a near standstill, threatening the survival of many businesses and putting millions of jobs at risk.

As the search for a vaccine continues, we must ensure we balance protecting the vulnerable with supporting the economy. Mass testing and tracing is our best answer to maintaining the spread of COVID-19 today.

Which is why we’re so delighted to see the UK’s leading travel hub, Heathrow Airport, trialling the FRANKD with Yoti COVID-19 test. 


Heathrow trials

The two-week trial involved employees and was designed to help Heathrow better understand how to deliver scalable, rapid point of care testing of passengers. In 2019, the total number of passengers at Heathrow airport reached a record 80.9million in 2019 but this number will be considerably less for 2020.

Heathrow Airport trialed some of the most cutting-edge testing technologies to see which offered the best solution. As CEO John Holland-Kaye explains, “Testing is the lifeline that the UK’s aviation sector needs to get back on its feet. If we can find a test that is accurate, gets a result within a matter of minutes, is cost-effective and gets the Government green light, we could have the potential to introduce wide-scale testing at the airport.”

Effective, rapid testing solutions like FRANKD & Yoti are key to restoring public confidence. “Every passenger travelling through Heathrow would have the confidence to know the airport is COVID-free, boosting demand and getting Global Britain back to safely trading and travelling with the world again. Without this, our first class aviation sector risks becoming second class, giving Britain’s competitive advantage to others.” 

The FRANKD test

FRANKD is a RT-LAMP NAAT swab test (100% Specific and 97% sensitive) that delivers results within 30 minutes. The test can be administered and analysed on-site without sizeable lab requirements, making it ideal for passenger arriving or departing from the airport. FRANKD carries the European CE regulatory mark and was developed by GeneMe, an award-winning biotech company based in Gdansk, Poland.

Point of care Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) are becoming the World Health Organisation’s gold standard and are already an entry requirement at airports in roughly 25 countries. NAAT results are based on whether a person is currently infected with the virus or not. This is different from antibody tests that look for our bodies’ response to the virus, which can take days and cost considerably more to process.

You can see exactly how this test is carried out in a laboratory in this testing guide video.

Secured by Yoti

FRANKD uses a secure application from Yoti that simplifies the capture, processing and sharing of COVID-19 tests. Tests are completed without paperwork and results are issued directly to an individual’s phone via the free Yoti app.

Our app is built with privacy at its core and harnesses secure anti-spoofing technology to prevent fraudulent use and make sharing personal data safer. To complete the one-time identity verification process, users can upload government-issued ID documents from over 195 countries and are verified through NIST-approved biometric technology. 

Kasjan Szemiako, CTO of GeneMe and developer of FRANKD, said, “We have partnered with Yoti because their digital ID app is secure and cannot be spoofed.

The app supports English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German and Polish – making it the perfect solution for global travellers and businesses alike. 

How it works

  1. Prior to the test, individuals download the free Yoti app and secure their account with a phone number, PIN and selfie. 
  2. A trained professional takes a sample from the individual’s mouth with a swab stick. This takes around a minute. 
  3. Individuals use their Yoti app to scan a QR code on their test kit, linking their test to their digital identity. They can then free to leave the testing site while the sample is analysed.
  4. As soon as the test is registered, a secure result is issued directly to an individual’s phone via the Yoti app. This equips individuals with a digital health certificate they can use to share their information online or in person.

Made for a broad range of everyday situations 

Kasjan Szemiako says, “We are thrilled to see FRANKD trialled with Heathrow. We expect FRANKD with Yoti will help create fast effective testing and Safe Spaces all over the world.”

Our CEO Robin Tombs is equally “delighted to be trialling our game changing FRANKD with Yoti solution with Heathrow, which is paving the way for travel and wider sectors to get back to work, travel and play.” 

Heathrow is the latest trial of FRANKD with Yoti. Our innovative testing system has been trialed at football clubs and care homes, and is currently being used for rapid daily testing of the cast and crew of Sleepless in Seattle musical. 

For more information, you can read our press release here or get in touch at 

It’s my health: a global Code of Practice for sharing personal health credentials

Our draft Code of Practice serves as an initial framework for the secure sharing of health data for a range of purposes, including creating a Health Test Credential. The key organisations covered by these standards are those that:

  • test and issue test results or certificates;
  • provide the Health Test Credential; and
  • require information on an individual’s health status.

The pillars of the Code are;

  1. Trusted identity verification of individuals
  2. Trusted and transparent health testing of individuals by authorities
  3. Trusted storage of credentials or Health Data
  4. Trusted presentation and transfer of Health Test Credentials
  5. Privacy requirements


Read the COVID-19: A Basic Primer here.

Saving Ashford Council money time and trees with Yoti Sign

“Yoti Sign has helped us solve problems with staff outside of the office with no access to printers or scanners in order to sign and return documents. It’s also made things much easier for those on maternity leave or long-term sick leave. The process of signing employment contracts has been streamlined which has saved time, money in printing costs and created environmental efficiencies as well. It has also resulted in much quicker response times from those that need to sign, meaning everything gets moved along faster.”

HR Manager at Ashford Borough Council


Read the full case study here.

Yoti Age Scan: a deep dive into our revolutionary age estimation technology

Developing technologies that challenge the status quo is what we do best here at Yoti. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for good, our new age estimation technology is set to shake up the way people prove their age online and in person. We’re proud of all of the work that’s gone into making it easy to use, accurate and fair for everyone, no matter your age or ethnicity, so we’ve released a white paper which you can read here.


Making it faster and safer to prove your age

Yoti Age Scan is a secure age checking service that accurately estimates a person’s age by looking at their face. Until now, people have had to show ID documents to prove their age, a process that’s outdated and easily spoofed with high quality fake IDs available online for much less than the official documents they replicate. Others can’t afford an ID document, which prevents them from accessing certain goods and services, such as obtaining medicine or placing their vote.

Our facial recognition applications are designed to make life easier for everyone. We believe it is crucial to have a transparent approach when launching new technology that uses facial recognition. With that in mind, we’ve signed the Safe Face Pledge, which encourages companies using AI to ensure that facial recognition technology is not misused. We’ve also released a new white paper that explains how we use AI for good with Yoti Age Scan.


Key takeaways from the report…


Yoti Age Scan ‘always forgets a face’

Yoti Age Scan has been designed with data privacy and security at its core. It doesn’t require individuals to register in advance or provide any documentary evidence of their identity. It doesn’t store their images or personal information. It simply estimates their age.

Yoti Age Scan can accurately estimate the age of millions of people in a private and secure way. It is a scalable solution which is quicker and more accurate than manual ID checks, and can be used when providing age-restricted goods and services, both online and in person.


A robust solution built for the real world

Yoti Age Scan is now live for supermarkets to let someone purchase an age-restricted good at the self-checkout. As regulators review the accuracy of this innovative approach, opportunities will open up globally for the sale and/or collection of age-restricted goods through automated vending and dispensing machines.

For the first time, technology will be able to estimate someone’s age with a high degree of accuracy, and give people the chance to verify their age in a private and secure way.

You can read the full version of the white paper here and the executive summary here.

The revised JMLSG guidance recognises the advances in – and advantages of – digital identification combined with robust biometric technologies. Financial institutions should feel reassured that they can use digital identity platforms, such as Yoti, to meet their CDD obligations in a robust way.

Streamlining the self checkout experience with automated age checks for NCR

We’re transforming retail with automated age checks in StrongPoint self-checkouts, Click & Collect lockers and Vensafe dispensing machines.

Powered by our age estimation technology, Yoti Age Scan, customers can simply look into the camera on the device and have their age anonymously estimated in seconds. Customers that look under the age threshold will be able to prove their age with the Yoti app.

Project Endeavour: eKYC and customer acquisition platform for retail banking

We have joined forces with Synectics Solutions to deliver a groundbreaking anti-fraud solution for financial services that provides a comprehensive eKYC risk assessment at the touch of a button.

Project Endeavour is our partnership pilot which combines our best-in-class digital identity technology with anti-fraud and AML risk screening data services from Synectics Solutions. Synectics Solutions is a recognised leader in the provision of fraud and financial crime risk analysis, and has been working with global financial institutions and data analysis organisations for over 27 years.

Our shared tool is designed to enable customers to onboard instantly with a financial institution using their phone. Low risk customers, who make up roughly 90% of a customer portfolio of a Tier 1 UK bank, will be identified and granted instant access to products and services via a third-party marketplace.