WorldReach Software

WorldReach 2020: The Year of Rapid Digital Change

January 5, 2021 | Source: WorldReach

(OTTAWA) – The year 2020 will go down in history for many things, but one of the most progressive aspects has been the urgent need for contactless identity verification for Government eService delivery. A recent McKinsey & Company Report has estimated that COVID-19 has accelerated the digitization of customer/citizen interactions by three to four years, and digital product development by more than seven years. As an established leader in remote identity and digital ID document verification, five+ years before COVID-19, WorldReach has seen incredible company and client growth in 2020 as a result.

WorldReach made not one but two Fastest Growing Companies Lists 

  1. The Globe and Mail Canada’s Top Growing Companies List recognizing our 3-year growth rate of over 404%. We rank 119th overall with the second highest growth rate of all 19 Ottawa-based companies on the list. 
  2. Canadian Business Growth List for our equally impressive 5-year growth rate of 339%.

2020 saw WorldReach continue its unparalleled success with the UK Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for its smartphone based digital ID Verification (IDV) and enrolment capability. Completed applications surpassed 4.3 million with an industry leading conversion rate. Kevin Foster, Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, UK Home Office said, “The scheme is the biggest of its kind in British history”. The EUSS also won the UK Home Office ‘Best Public Sector Project’ at the National Technology Awards 2020.

WorldReach used 2020 to build stronger strategic partnerships with best of breed technologies and focus on safe, innovative processes informed by decades of experience deploying real-world Government to Citizen digital services. We immersed ourselves in the international technical standards for secure travel documents, based around ICAO Document 9303 and the new Digital Travel Credential (DTC) standard, announced in late 2020. Our staff are active participants in standards setting bodies and best practices organizations for safe and seamless borders (WTTC, IATA, IBMATA, Future Borders Coalition), digital identity (DIACC), device security (FIDO Alliance) and biometrics (Biometrics Institute).

Incorporating DTCs, WorldReach’s IDV solution is included in two global contactless travel entry Pilots set to begin in early 2021
  1. Eurostar Pilot Project LAMINAR is targeted for spring 2021 where travellers at London’s St Pancras International Station will be able to use a touchless biometric lane without presenting any formal identification or ticket, reducing friction and safety concerns.
  2. Canada’s Chain of Trust Pilot employs similar approach, but for air. Biographic and biometric data is captured early in the travel continuum and a derived digital travel credential (DTC) is stored in the secure wallet on the smartphone. This verified credential is shared and combined with dynamic risk assessment to determine the appropriate channel for each passenger at the border. The ultimate aim is to achieve zero wait time at a new touchless border for eligible, low-risk passengers.

“2020 highlighted the difficult challenge for governments to verify identity remotely and deliver e-services quickly”, stated Gordon Wilson, WorldReach President and CEO, “Fortunately, WorldReach had already been in production in many high identity assurance programs, and testing for seamless travel pilots globally. This meant no downtime in existing services, and an ability to scale quickly for real-world innovative initiatives to support economic recovery in multiple industries such as travel.  Despite COVID-19, we hit the ground running, and I’m so very proud of the entire WorldReach team.” 

“In 2021, we see even more applications for remote identity and document verification across markets especially applied to the urgent need for digital identity in all aspects of our lives”.

More highlights from 2020 include:

Industry Reports

“WorldReach’s position is strong, as border checks are becoming part of the digital transformation of governments and airports. WorldReach, as a company, is well placed to either take part as a point solution, or be woven into the wider ecosystems that handle travellers and other government IDs.”

Juniper Digital Identity Report 2020-2025
  • Juniper Digital Identity Report 2020-2025 WorldReach is a Segment Focused Leading Challenger and one of fourteen companies profiled on their digital identity leader board. The EUSS was one of only three successful case studies highlighted in the report.
  • WTTC Global Guides for Safe & Seamless Traveller Journey Report  WorldReach is one of nine companies profiled as technology providers that support the implementation of SSTJ concepts. It highlights the Eurostar and Chain of Trust Pilots along with the EU Settlement Scheme.

Requested Presentations

  • Frontex – Industry Days: Leveraging Existing eMRTD Capabilities Automated Border Control using Smartphones for Identity and Document Verification
  • ICAO NTWG – Innovation Session: Leveraging Existing eMRTD Capabilities Manual or Automated Border Control Improvements and Virtual Use in Smart Devices
  • Biometrics Institute Congress: Accelerating touchless borders & immigration
  • IdentityNORTH Fall Summit: Applying Digital Identity Verification and Digital Travel Credentials to deliver Safe and Seamless Borders & Travel

Expert Panels


  • ReadID: Conversion is key – How to reach a high onboarding conversion with identity verification software
  • International Biometric Forum: Critical role of biometrics in the remote identity verification digital process of the highly successful Home Office EU Settlement Scheme
  • ThinkDigital Partners: Could the Key to Rebooting the World’s Economy Lie in Making Air Travel Truly ‘Borderless and Touchless’?

Industry Articles

“At WorldReach, we believe travel service providers can contribute to pandemic recovery globally by adopting new processes that support the remote and touchless use of biometrics. We in the industry have an obligation to work collaboratively with agencies and partners to make that happen.”
Jon Payne, Executive Director, Global Partnerships, WorldReach
IATA Strategic Partnerships Newsletter – COVID-19 Special Edition

About WorldReach
WorldReach Software uses innovative processes and technology to verify you are who you say you are to enable digital services delivery, through its systems for:

• government travel services (borders, immigration, passport, consular) and digital citizen services;
• safe and seamless traveller journey with the travel sector;
• highly trusted digital Identity verification and corroboration.

To learn more about WorldReach’s solutions and identity verification approach, visit our website.

Press contact
Shelley Bryen, Director of Marketing,   +1 (613) 697-6997

WorldReach – ReadID Webinar: ‘Conversion is Key’

Thursday, October 22, 2020, 9:00AM EST |
FREE Register here: link |

Join us for the upcoming webinar hosted by InnoValor (ReadID), one of our technology partners on the world’s largest, most successful digital on-boarding immigration programme: the UK Home Office EU Settlement Scheme. Steven Grant, our Director of Business Development, will join Maarten Wegdam, CEO of ReadID, for an interview on the theme ‘Conversion is key’ – How to reach a high onboarding conversion with identity verification software.

Together, we will discuss how we are working together on the EU Settlement Scheme and provide insight into the remarkable conversion rate of over 85%. In September 2018, WorldReach Software was selected by UK Home Office for the operation and management of the digital verification capability supporting the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Together with our partner InnoValor (ReadID), we enabled the world’s largest, most successful remote identity verification immigration programme.

Steven G. Grant
Director of Business Development, WorldReach Software, Canada
Over the past 20+ years, Steve has worked as a subject matter expert with multiple international organizations and governments with extensive experience in identity document systems, border security, consular management software, civil registries, voter registration and biometrics. He is also a Non-Executive Director with IBMATA; a member of the ICAO Implementation and Capacity Building Working Group where he supports deployment of standards-compliant passport and border management technologies; and a Canadian representative to the ISO SC17 WG3 standards group for Travel Documents; IATA One ID; and WTTC Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey.

Maarten Wegdam
CEO, ReadID, Amersfoot, Netherlands
Expert, advisor and speaker on digital identity and heads the award-winning InnoValor team.
InnoValor’s ReadID is the flagship product and makes it possible to read and verify the contactless RFID chip of passports and other identity documents using a smartphone with Near Field Communication. It supports online document identity verification in a cost efficient, secure and user friendly manner.

About WorldReach
WorldReach Software uses innovative processes and technology to verify you are who you say you are to enable digital services delivery,
through its systems for:
• government travel services (borders, immigration, passport, consular) and digital citizen services;
• safe and seamless traveller journey with the travel sector;
• highly trusted digital Identity verification and corroboration.

Press contact:
Shelley Bryen, Director of Marketing,  +1 (613) 697-6997

More than 4 million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme

This important milestone was reached with eight months still to go before the 30 June 2021 deadline.

Published 8 October 2020

From: Home Office and Kevin Foster MP

The Home Office has today announced that there have been more than four million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, according to the latest published statistics.

This important milestone was reached with eight months still to go before the 30 June 2021 deadline. Nearly 3.8 million grants of status have also been made, securing millions of European’s rights in UK law for years to come.

The latest statistics also show that, of the more than 4 million applications across the UK, there have been nearly 3.7 million from England, 204,700 from Scotland, 67,200 from Wales and 66,300 from Northern Ireland up to the end of September 2020.

Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:

European citizens are an integral part of our society, culture and community which is why I’m really proud we’ve already surpassed four million applications to the hugely successful EU Settlement Scheme.

A wide range of support is available online and over the telephone if you need it and we are funding 72 organisations across the UK to help the more vulnerable in society.

The EU Settlement Scheme has been fully open since 30 March 2019 and at its height Home Office caseworkers were regularly processing up to 20,000 applications a day. The highest number of applications processed in one month was in October 2019 when there were more than 400,000 grants of status.


  • 28 August 2018 – EU Settlement Scheme first tested with a small number of NHS staff
  • 1 November 2018 – Launch of second phase of testing
  • 30 March 2019 – EU Settlement Scheme fully opened
  • 15 August 2019 – One million applications
  • 9 October 2019 – Two million applications
  • 6 February 2020 – Three million applications
  • 8 October 2020 – Four million applications

The Home Office also has a dedicated team of more than 1,500 people working on the EU Settlement Scheme with support provided seven days a week by telephone and by email.

The EU Settlement Scheme uses cutting edge technology and launched the EU Exit: ID Document Check app which allows people to apply from the comfort of their own home in as little as 15 minutes.

The Home Office has also made up to £17 million available to organisations across the UK who support the more vulnerable in society. The number of organisations funded has increased from 57 to 72 and includes charities, local authorities and local government associations.

EUSS Team Manager of Newport Mind Association in Wales Tom Finney said:

We’re pleased to confirm that with Home Office funding we will now be able to provide practical EU Settlement Scheme support to vulnerable EU citizens throughout the whole of Wales.

We’ve already broken-down barriers and reached out to more than 10,000 vulnerable EU citizens living in Wales and we are determined to build on that success.

Deputy CEO at Advice NI in Northern Ireland Fiona Magee said:

Advice NI has already helped more than 20,000 people in Northern Ireland to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and the Home Office funding will allow us to continue this important work with the more vulnerable in society including the elderly, isolated or those who lack IT literacy skills.

Chief of Mission at International Organization for Migration Dipti Pardeshi said:

To date, the IOM UK led project has provided EUSS support to over 25,000 individuals in vulnerable situations. People who have been supported include children in care, people who are homeless or rough sleeping, survivors of modern slavery and domestic abuse, as well as people living with disabilities, or facing language, literacy or economic barriers.

We have been working closely with Local Authorities and our model has expanded the ability to reach out to at-risk migrants. The new Home Office funding will help us to continue such vital work to ensure that no one is left behind.

Additional support is available for those who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to apply online.

The Home Office has also run two bursts of marketing campaigns, spending £4 million across the UK to encourage EU citizens to apply.

To raise awareness of the scheme at a local level, the Home Office held a series of pop-up events across the UK where staff answered questions and helped people to apply in person, with more planned in 2020.

Communication materials have also been translated into 26 EU languages including Polish, Romanian and Italian.

Original Post: link

WorldReach Case Study on the EU Settlement Scheme:

WorldReach is one of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies

September 28, 2020 / Ottawa, ON, Canada

WorldReach is thrilled to announce making the top third on The Globe and Mail’s second-annual ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies.

“The stories of Canada’s Top Growing Companies are worth telling at any time, but are especially relevant in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic,” says James Cowan, Editor of Report on Business magazine. “As businesses work to rebuild the economy, their resilience and innovation make for essential reading.”

WorldReach celebrates a three-year growth of 404%! This represents the second highest growth rate of all 19 Ottawa-based companies on the list this year and is certainly an indication of a reinvigorating of the high-tech sector in the National Capital Region.

“The Globe and Mail’s Top Growing Companies designation shows that our strategy and execution by all staff has been outstanding,” Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, stated. “As the world continues to adapt to the global pandemic, there is accelerated interest in going digital. WorldReach expects to see further growth in 2021, particularly with our digital ID verification solutions and our ability to support safe, seamless and touchless border programs – essential to the world’s economic recovery efforts and return to travel.”

Launched in 2019, the Canada’s Top Growing Companies editorial ranking aims to celebrate entrepreneurial achievement in Canada by identifying and amplifying the success of growth-minded, independent businesses in Canada. It is a voluntary program; companies had to complete an in-depth application process in order to qualify. In total, 400 companies earned a spot on this year’s ranking. 

The full list of 2020 winners is published in the October issue of Report on Business magazine—out now—and online at

“Any business leader seeking inspiration should look no further than the 400 businesses on this year’s Report on Business ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies,” says Phillip Crawley, Publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail. “Their growth helps to make Canada a better place, and we are proud to bring their stories to our readers.”

About WorldReach Software

WorldReach Software uses innovative processes and technology to verify you are who you say you are to enable digital services delivery,
through its systems for:
• government travel services (borders, immigration, passport, consular) and digital citizen services;
• safe and seamless traveller journey with the travel sector;
• highly trusted digital Identity verification and corroboration.

In September 2018, WorldReach signed a multi-year contract with the UK Home Office for the use of its smartphone based digital ID Verification (IDV) and enrolment capability. For more information on the world’s most successful remote identity verification immigration programme, employing WorldReach software: read our EU Settlement Case Study.

About The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s foremost news media company, leading the national discussion and causing policy change through brave and independent journalism since 1844. With award-winning coverage of business, politics and national affairs, The Globe and Mail newspaper reaches 5.9 million readers every week in print or digital formats, and Report on Business magazine reaches 2.1 million readers in print and digital every issue. The Globe and Mail’s investment in innovative data science means that as the world continues to change, so does The Globe. The Globe and Mail is owned by Woodbridge, the investment arm of the Thomson family.

Press contact:
Shelley Bryen, Director of Marketing,  +1 (613) 697-6997

WorldReach invited to speak at the INTERNATIONAL BIOMETRIC FORUM launch webinar

WorldReach is delighted to announce our participation in a virtual event officially launching a brand new biometrics association. The International Biometric Forum, a jointly-owned project developed by Smartex and Goode Intelligence, is a membership-based educative and networking forum to address the emerging world of biometrics.

Jon Payne, Executive Director of Global Partnerships at WorldReach, will be speaking on the critical role of biometrics in the remote identity verification digital process of the highly successful Home Office EU Settlement Scheme.

Tuesday, 30th June 2020
3:00 – 4:45pm BST

Join WorldReach at this launch event and benefit from the views and visions of an esteemed panel of specialists in this field.

Speakers and topics:
Welcome and IBF vision statement: Richard Poynder, Smartex
IBF and the biometric imperative: Alan Goode, Goode Intelligence
Biometrics and beyond, a finserv perspective: Martin Ingram, RBS
Home Office EU Settlement Scheme: Jon Payne, WorldReach
Securing corporate payments with biometrics: Ray Hockley, Hitachi Europe


About WorldReach Software
WorldReach Software uses innovative processes and technology to verify you are who you say you are to enable digital services delivery, through its systems for:
• government travel services (borders, immigration, passport, consular) and digital citizen services;
• safe and seamless traveller journey with the travel sector;
• highly trusted digital Identity verification and corroboration.

In September 2018, WorldReach signed a multi-year contract with the UK Home Office for the use of its smartphone based digital ID Verification (IDV) and enrolment capability. The Know Your Traveller™ platform is the front end IDV app supporting the EU Settlement Scheme.

Press contact:
Shelley Bryen, WorldReach Software,  +1 (613) 697-6997

Could the Key to Rebooting the World’s Economy Lie in Making Air Travel Truly ‘Borderless and Touchless’?

Posted 15 June 2020 by Gary Flood, Think Digital Partners

In our latest digital interview on the Think Digital Partners’ YouTube interview channel’s just dropped and it’s a very timely one as the UK starts to emerge from Lockdown: how to make one of the main drivers of the global economy, travel, function properly again.

That’s in the shape of some great new commentary from Jon Payne, Executive Director, Global Partnerships at WorldReach, a Canadian software company focusing on Government Travel and Citizen Services, Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey, and Identity Verification solutions. Jon reminds us it’s not too early for Governments round the world to start thinking about the real practicalities of post-Lockdown international travel. 

This, he stresses, will have to be totally safe, remote and touchless, and centred on tech-powered approaches to IDV (Identity & Document Verification): but how do we get there from here?

Check out our interview with Jon and see if you agree with his vision of how we can get international business and tourism back on its feet – and help make Recovery really work.


  • Go here to find out more about WorldReach
  • Access a document here on WorldReach’s ideas for ‘borderless and touchless’
  • See a write-up of WorldReach’s recent EU Settlement Scheme success on the main Think Digital Partners’ website
  • Connect with Jon on LinkedIn here and Twitter here.

Travel after the pandemic: The growth of remote and touchless identity services

Written by Gillian Ormiston, Senior Consultant, Ormiston Consulting Services |
Posted on May 29, 2020 | ACI Insights

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of contemporary life, including the travel industry. The majority of flights have been cancelled, airports are deserted, and long queues at security and immigration are just a distant memory.  

Airports act as the shop window for many national economies so efficient and secure processes are therefore essential for both trade and tourism. Sooner rather than later, restrictions will begin to lift and travel will start to show the first green shoots of recovery. But that recovery will depend in part on the industry’s ability to respond to the legitimate concerns of travellers.

Passengers’ safety fears

High on the list of traveller concerns will be: am I required to wait in proximity with other travellers, and am I required to use touch devices (such as kiosks, eGates, and boarding pass readers) immediately after other travellers? This is where industry and government agencies will explore remote and touchless solutions.

Seamlessness has long been the byword for passenger processing, whether this is at check-in, access to airside, border control or boarding. Digitization, automation and AI have recently been added to the mantra. However, for good reasons related to safety, airports, airlines, and government agencies take time to deploy new processes.

The need for social distancing has raised many new questions, including: what can be done now to separate queues of passengers, how and where will health checks take place, and what will happen to those passengers who do not pass a health check? There remain many open issues to be addressed by governments and industry bodies.

However, while these complex topics are considered, one fundamental issue can be addressed right now: the need to verify the identity of every passenger. Airlines need to know who is flying so that they can submit Advanced Passenger Information (API), and so they can be sure the person flying is the same person who dropped their bag and went through security.

Focused approach

Most of the current biometric solutions which can support seamlessness at the airport require multiple touchpoints and are based on reading a passport, an ID card or driving licence. So, the most urgent issue now for airports, airlines and government agencies is to put in place a system for remote, off-airport identity verification. With an identity already enrolled securely before travel, the passenger’s face can become their touchless and seamless boarding pass.

The technology to achieve this is already available and proven. It combines the power of smartphones (Android and iOS) to read a passport or ID chip via NFC (near-field communication) with the latest facial recognition technology to provide not just an instant facial match between selfie and passport, but also a genuine presence test to prevent spoofing.

Any authority using this technology can have confidence that a genuine document has been used and that it has not been lost or stolen. They can be sure that the traveller is a real, live person who is the rightful holder of the document. And all this can be achieved remotely, without the traveller needing to be seen in person.

Remote identity and document verification today

This technology is already being used at scale in the real world. As part of the innovative EU Settlement Scheme, the UK Home Office has processed more than 3.5 million EU nationals living in the UK applying for settled status. The large majority chose the digital route and applied successfully, without assistance, in just a few minutes.

The same approach is being explored by Canada Border Services Agency as part of an innovative concept called Chain of Trust, in which biographic and biometric data captured early in the travel continuum is combined with dynamic risk assessment to determine the appropriate channel for each passenger at the border. The ultimate aim is to achieve zero wait time for eligible, low-risk travellers, via the use of biometric corridors.

Airport travel: Where do we go from here?

Many post-pandemic travellers will demand touchless alternatives along these lines. Those organizations wrestling with strategies for pandemic recovery and reconsidering a travel process heavily dependent on the use of touch-screen kiosks, scanners or eGates should urgently consider the fully remote, digital ID verification process described above.

Instead of requiring travellers to stand in a queue with others and use a touch-screen kiosk and/or an eGate, why not allow them to enrol their information in advance of arrival at the airport, on their own smartphone, and grant access to all necessary touchpoints (check-in, bag drop, security, border control, and boarding) based on a touchless facial match?

The required technologies are already available. But prospective buyers should be careful to choose a reliable technology partner and a solution that is proven in the real world at high volumes and a high level of identity assurance. Key issues to consider include security, data privacy, and scalability.

For more information: WorldReach Software COVID-19 Response Paper


Not everyone thought the Home Office’s app for settling an EU citizen’s immigration status post-Brexit would work. A year on, it seems like, for once, the sceptics got this one completely wrong

Posted 26 May 2020 by Gary Flood

While we’ve all been a bit busy with… you know what, a major UK Identity milestone was achieved that all of us in the Digital Identity ecosystem should have been very impressed with:

That no less than 3.5 million successful applications for a highly time-sensitive Government service were made using digital ID software on a smartphone – and that makes the project in question the world’s largest, most successful digital on-boarding immigration programme using remote identity verification with ePassport chip reading and liveness detection.

WorldReach EUSS Press Release Image

We’re referring to the Home Office EUSS (EU Settlement Scheme), which was set up to support the application process of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals living in the UK to apply for a UK immigration status as part of our leaving the European Union. As Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster states, “The [EU Settlement] scheme is the biggest of its kind in British history,” and the 3.5 million figure was reached with over a year still to go until the 30 June 2021 deadline.

Though not without some critics, the system was famously designed to be something that could be done quickly and securely by the user on their phones, an “EU Exit: ID Document Check” app, on Android or iOS smartphone, that was promised to assist applicants in promptly and securely confirming their identity without the need to submit documents to the Home Office by mail or in person. 

The service supports multiple eIDs including ePassports, UK biometric residence cards and EU citizen eID cards, all using ICAO standards. And given that according to March 2020 Home Office data on the project (EU Settlement Scheme Statistics March 2020), it looks like that core design principle of easy digital functionality and access has been proven right.

In fact, there’s lots of genuinely impressive benchmarking going on here, and whatever your personal opinions about either the Home Office or Brexit, anyone interested in battle-testing the promise of ID at scale has to stop and listen. For a start, the project was up and running very quickly: after only a three-month beta phase, the app was live on GOV.UK at the end of March last year and included three optional paths for EEA nationals:

  • To prove their Identity in applying for status via post
  • By visiting a local service provider
  • A completely digital route. 

What’s really interesting (and encouraging) is that the vast majority chose digital. And given that the total target group is believed to be about 3.5 million, getting that near completion, mainly electronically, and with such a high success rate… is pretty good.

No wonder Westminster’s pleased with this one; after all, it’s almost unprecedented… a successful HMG IT project! “Our use of world-class technology means that people can apply from the comfort of their home in as little as 15 minutes,” the Security Minister Brandon Lewis wrote in The Times in January. Lewis, noting how the app is successfully using facial recognition and smartphone technology to make the process as easy for as many people as possible, also pointed out that at the back end his Department is ensuring “a secure digital status which cannot be lost, damaged or tampered with [as EUSS] future-proofs [your] immigration status”.

Quite rightly, his public acknowledgement of the achievement of this national ID-based system also notes that EUSS’s level of innovation is “unheard of in immigration systems around the world” and should definitely be something “we are extremely proud of”.


  • A high percentage completed their application in under 10 minutes, with a high level of Identity assurance
  • This was the first iOS app in production to read ICAO MRTD compliant chips via Near Field Communication (NFC) at large scale on iPhone 7 and above
  • Users employed no less than 2,300 different makes and models of Android and iOS devices to complete the identity verification process.
  • Peaks of 25,000-30,000 applications per day were seen without crashes
  • System Availability since the start of live production is 99.97%—exceeding SLA commitments agreed with the supplier
  • 79% of applicants indicated that proving their identity through the app was either “very easy” or “fairly easy”
  • The app receives an average 4.1 star satisfaction rating on Google Play Store.

By the way, we are often given the example of successful ID programmes in the Nordics that didn’t go down the government-issued (eg GOV.UK Verify) route, but instead piggy-backed off the financial/banking route. And EUSS more than holds its own against this benchmark, comparing very well with the remote digital on-boarding rate achieved in the banking sector. Other great proof points here include the fact that:

It’s more than time to ask the ID company that’s behind all this to step forward and take a bow. That is, of course, Canadian ID leader WorldReach Software, which is all about powering-up highly trusted digital public services for immigration, passport, border management, consular and citizen services organisations (and whose customers include Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland and a bunch of both British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, the Virgin Islands, St. Helena) as well as key UK Crown Dependencies (Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey) & Gibraltar).

WorldReach Software was selected in October 2017, along with its partners InnoValor and iProov, to support the Identity & Document Verification (IDV) components of the EUSS through the development, integration and testing phases. This remote IDV digital service is based on WorldReach’s Know Your Traveller platform, and in September 2018, the company was awarded a multi-year contract with the Home Office for the operation and management of the digital verification capability supporting EUSS.

In technical terms, IdentityReach reads the ePassport chip’s security features to authenticate the legitimacy of the document. Facial matching is achieved by comparing the secure reference image from the ePassport chip to a live selfie captured by smartphone camera. Genuine presence technology is applied to mitigate attempts at identity fraud.

Commenting on this landmark engagement for his company, for WorldReach’s President, Gordon Wilson, “The use of remote ID Verification at a high trust level by the UK for EUSS provides a clear proof statement that the public is ready to accept a digital route for on-boarding—and that they are quite capable of using their own smartphone and ePassport or eCitizen ID to conduct said digital on-boarding.  

“The milestone of well over 3 million successful EUSS applications, mostly achieved digitally, also demonstrates that delivery of other government or customer services digitally requiring high levels of Identity Assurance is preferred by the majority—plus, that the technology is capable of delivering.

“This is highly reassuring even before lockdown, which has made the reliable and scalable delivery of public service innovation a paramount concern for policy-makers.”

To find out more about WorldReach, go here

To find out more about the EUSS, go here

To find original article from Think Digital Partners, go here

iProov and WorldReach Software: identity verification for government and citizen services

April 7, 2020

iProov works in partnership with a number of technology companies around the world. WorldReach Software, based in Canada, is a world leader in government travel and citizen services. We asked Jon Payne, Executive Director, Global Partnerships at WorldReach, to tell us about their work and why they chose iProov for genuine presence assurance.

WorldReach is expert in government travel and citizen services. How has your business evolved since it was originally set up?

WorldReach was founded in 1998 after a five-year software development partnership with Canada’s foreign ministry. As our international government client list grew, we quickly gained a reputation as a highly trusted government partner and advisor specialising in consular assistance including crises, and passport issuance solutions. This was our primary focus, until about five years ago. 

In recent years, we chose to apply our expertise to create a new process for remote Identity and Document Verification (IDV), recognising the combination of the growth of smartphones as a mobile platform and the steadily increasing proportion of ePassports. In effect, turning the smartphone into an ePassport reader and allowing the owner to verify their identity in much the same way as an e-Gate or e-Kiosk in an airport does it, using facial biometrics. 

What have been the biggest changes in government travel/citizen services since WorldReach started?

When we started, digitisation was really just a concept. Governments still largely depended upon a combination of paper documents and face-to-face processes to determine eligibility and to deliver services. This, in general, was a long, labour intensive and expensive process for governments. 

We recognised the potential of technology to improve process. We worked on unlocking the power of the chip embedded in ePassports that are now issued by the majority of governments. Given all the efforts made by passport agencies to embed a small computer full of rich data into the passport, we wanted to make it more easily available in practice for immigration programmes.

Which government was the first to take advantage of this new process innovation? 

With help from the Canadian Safety and Security Program and the sponsorship of Canada’s two immigration agencies, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency), we were able to refine and test our technology with the real world input of immigration officials through several demonstration projects aiming at seamless borders for lower risk travellers. This work is still ongoing today in a prototype, soon to be pilot, called the Chain of Trust. The aim of the project is to achieve zero wait time at the future border for admissible passengers, by making the enforcement and compliance processes more dynamic and responsive. Our eIDV service allows applicants to register and authenticate their passport information – using their smartphone to read the chip – and uses the latest facial recognition technology to check that the applicant is a real, live person and the owner of the document. 

Can you tell us more about the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme and how that came about for WorldReach? 

In the UK, the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) run by the Home Office is using the eIDV concept in an immigration context in perhaps its single largest live deployment. Because of Brexit, the freedom of movement previously enjoyed by other EU nationals living in the UK will soon come to an end. The UK government estimates that there are between 3 and 4 million people in this category, who are eligible to apply for a new “settled status” before January 2021, in order to continue living and working in the UK. 

The policy presented the Home Office with a new operational challenge, since applying for settlement in the UK usually involves filling out a lengthy form and sending personal documents – including passports – to the department in the mail, or attending a Home Office facility for an interview. The Home Office chose to offer an entirely digital application process, and we are pleased to be a significant part of the solution. Although EUSS began in full release only in March 2019, the Home Office recently announced that more than 3.3 million applicants had already applied for settled status. 

So, a convenient, secure identity verification service, using the latest in facial recognition and iProov’s genuine presence technology, is the world’s largest and most successful digital immigration on-boarding programme.

What do you see on the horizon in this sector? What will be the biggest changes/trends over the next 2-5 years?

One of the biggest changes on the horizon concerns the passport itself. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is working towards an internationally recognised Digital Travel Credential (DTC) standard. A DTC has the potential to provide functionality and security features that are comparable to those of a current ePassport, with increased convenience. This generated DTC could substitute a conventional passport in some circumstances by providing a digital representation of the traveller’s identity, including in emerging seamless traveller initiatives.

It’s not hard to see how this internationally accepted credential might then be used in other identity verification schemes, beyond travel.

Why did you choose to work with iProov?

We knew genuine presence would be a key component in any successful remote identity verification platform. After all, a selfie alone doesn’t prove a real person is present, nor can it detect a mask or other spoofing techniques. So, we went to work, testing and spoofing between 25 and 30 solutions that were in the market. At the time of the EUSS opportunity, iProov was the only solution that our technical team couldn’t spoof.

Having worked with iProov for more than a year, we continue to be impressed with the technology and the company’s responsiveness as a strategic partner.

What is life like at WorldReach? How would you describe your company culture? 

We pride ourselves on fostering an inclusive, diverse, welcoming and transparent company culture. 

As far as diversity goes, WorldReach staff speak 19 different languages. This has proven valuable in a global market, supporting clients from all over the world. Women make up 50% of our Senior Management, 67% of Technical Team Leads, and 40% of the entire staff. We’re very proud of these stats and we work hard to achieve gender parity. 

As for daily life at WorldReach, there is a real camaraderie here, which is invaluable in times of crisis, such as we’re now seeing with COVID-19. We can count on one another. We have a very low attrition rate; a large percentage of our staff have been with the company for more than a decade. People like each other, laugh a lot, and work very hard. Our clients and partners recognize this; they know that they can depend on WorldReach, because we’ve shown that we depend on each other.

Finally, a bonus question! Can you tell us something surprising/something most people wouldn’t know about government travel/citizen services?

Well, there are some things hidden in the passport statistics that you might not know. For example, of the 195 or so countries in the world, almost 150 of them now issue ePassports with an embedded chip. The largest issuer of passports in the world was the US for many years, most recently at roughly 20 million per year; however, a few years ago they were overtaken by China, which issued 30 million passports last year. Probably the smallest state issuer is Vatican City, which issues its own passport despite having only about 600 citizens in total. 

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