“…Yoti’s Head of Social Impact, Ken Banks, explained that many charity organizations felt that technological solutions based on smartphones would actually hinder access to services, since many charity recipients will either not have the required hardware or technological literacy to confidently use the new tools.”
Yoti has concluded its research on the digital identity needs of charity organizations in the UK, and the results are surprisingly discouraging.
In conducting the research, Yoti’s aim was essentially to find out how its platform, which revolves around mobile facial recognition and document reading for automated authentication, could be used for the social good via the charity sector. But what the company’s research found was a substantial amount of resistance to such technologies, with the UK’s charity sector unprepared for the kind of digital identity revolution underway in other areas like financial services.
Summarizing some of the key findings on a blog post, Yoti’s Head of Social Impact, Ken Banks, explained that many charity organizations felt that technological solutions based on smartphones would actually hinder access to services, since many charity recipients will either not have the required hardware or technological literacy to confidently use the new tools. Many research subjects from cash-strapped organizations also expressed skepticism about the costs of adopting new technologies, noting that even if they are offered for free, there is the need to train staff and adapt infrastructure to the new solutions. Many research subjects acknowledged that their own technical proficiency with digital technology was poor, and indicated that their digital priorities tended to focus on more basic matters such as fundraising and other digital services.
There were areas where research subjects expressed interest in digital identity tools – namely in volunteer identification and limiting the need for charity recipients to continually re-submit personal information – but all told it appears that there aren’t huge opportunities for transformative digital identity technology in the charity sector, at least according to Yoti’s research. And while those findings may be discouraging, Yoti’s publication of them may be seen as a testament to the organization’s sincerity and good faith in researching new application areas for its digital identity technology – it’s that rare case in which having a hammer doesn’t necessarily mean you see nails everywhere.
By taking an honest look at where its technology may not be welcome, Yoti will be able to focus on areas where it’s more likely to make a significant impact – such as the developing areas in Africa and Southeast Asia that were the subject of Yoti research undertaken earlier this year.
Source: Yoti Blog
December 3, 2018 – by Alex Perala