Real-time electronic validation benefits more than 50,000 residents and helps ease local authority overheads

Every year Hammersmith & Fulham issues around 50,000 resident parking permits – of which three-quarter are simply renewals But to qualify, residents must have their main residence within the controlled parking zone boundaries and be the sole keeper of a vehicle driven by them and kept in the borough.

Traditionally, all residents renewing a parking permit were obliged to go to the local authority’s offices in Hammersmith and take a set of up to date documentation – including a proof of identity and a proof of address. Alternately, they could send the documents to the council by post and wait for the permit renewal to arrive by mail.

As part of an overall programme to improve access to services and to simplify the labour-intensive renewal process, Hammersmith & Fulham brought in long-term partner, IT and business services provider Agilisys, to switch its parking permit renewals online.
The initiative was one of the first stages of work to implement the Agilisys Digital platform, which covers multiple online services for Hammersmith & Fulham.

The initial success of the parking permit renewal programme was the removal of any reliance on presenting physical documents – but this only applied to those residents who already had other paperwork on file with the council.

In 2011, Agilisys and Hammersmith & Fulham’s Parking Service developed a solution to further improve the customer experience and in particular help accommodate the significant number of residents without a so-called ‘footprint’ of activity with the council. As a result, the authority turned to our Authenticate product.

Checking paper proofs to confirm identity and address is a manual process which can be inefficient and costly to councils. It is also susceptible to fraud as paper documents can be easily manipulated.
Increasingly electronic identity checking is replacing traditional paper based processes. It is already well established in the private sector and is swiftly becoming more widespread in the public sector.

In this process given identities are first validated as genuine based on a critical number of data matches and cross-references, before the process then verifies that an applicant ‘owns’ the given identity via a scoring process, which hinges on the depth, breadth, and quality of known data, as well as the presence of any high-risk alerts.
Alerts are only generated when there are significant data inconsistencies. Those applications get queued for manual analysis.

The Authenticate solution was implemented within the MyAccount portal on the Agilisys Digital platform to ensure a high per centage of Hammersmith & Fulham residents would benefit from instant real-time identity verification and instant approval whenever they applied for their parking permit renewal.
The council benefits by being able to replace a manual system with a fast, cost-effective solution that enables non-intrusive and robust identity authentication for the majority of the authority’s online applicants.

Parking permit authentication has two stages. The Agilisys system first matches applicant details against relevant council data including council tax records and existing parking permit records. If there are insufficient matches, the system plugs into our additional data sets to help ensure the maximum number of legitimate on-line applicants get passed first time.

In most instances the real-time authentication is seamlessly completed during the application process. It corroborates applicants’ identities and validates residency to provide Hammersmith & Fulham with confidence that they are genuine, living in the area and are eligible for a permit.
At the same time potentially fraudulent applications are also flagged up – for example, when an applicant has never, or ceased to live at an eligible address, or if the given address is a commercial premises rather than a private home.

The majority of Hammersmith & Fulham’s on-line permit renewals are now dealt with in this way thanks to a mix of the council’s or Experian’s datasets. The system hinges on access to high quality data sources rather than paper-based proofs.

Our Authenticate product is a securely accessed service, which takes an applicant’s name, address, and date of birth, and matches it against over 1.3 billion records sourced from a combination of public and private sector data bases. It only operates with the applicant’s consent and does not leave a footprint on a credit file.

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