Businesses are gradually getting back to normal, millions of workers are going back to the workplace and getting back into a work routine after the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last few months, many people have worked, lived and socialised from home, remotely. That has all but forced them to create a digital identity and, alongside that, a Digital Certificate to be able to operate remotely in a legally effective manner. A “virtual me” that has often been an essential stand-in for the “real me” to run businesses, deal with the government and local authorities and deal with banks and health providers.
A fully legal, transparent and authenticated Digital Identity that is followed by the creation of a digital certificate – a digital document issued under the authority of an official body that allows a person or business to exchange information in a legally effective way with full protection for their privacy. Some of the most important advantages of a digital certificate are:
- Easier dealings with government and local authorities
- Being able to manage all sorts of official processes (income tax returns), banking (account management), health providers (making appointments, electronic prescriptions)
- Being able to check on official processes 24/7/365
- Not needing duplicate documents and not losing documents
- For the self-employed, paying all your taxes (some are even required to be paid on-line), find out about repayments and delayed payment, view all tax and employment information
- Confirmation at any point that the right person is involved, reducing identity theft and fraud.
Recent months have been a real digital challenge for business and the truth is that many businesses have made greater strides towards their digital transformation than they had made over several years running up to the pandemic. They had to. They had to carry on selling their services and their products, keep up their quality and customer service standards. Many of their staff and customers were working remotely, armed with a mobile device and an Internet connection.
There was no question of meeting in the flesh or visiting anyone’s offices or just getting together. Once again, the “virtual me” was standing in for the “real me”. Alongside those imperatives, there was another issue to do with security, with hacking ramping up during lockdown and household use of data and the Internet rising by 50%. Once again, digital identity and digital certificates provided the solution.
Whilst many businesses already had digital certificates, it was no longer possible to go to Tax Offices and given the complexity of the tax and employment situation (furlough etc.), digitisation has been invaluable.
Digital certificates have been more useful to businesses than ever. Thanks to their certificates, companies have not only been able to streamline their management processes but have also:
- Been able to deal with officialdom from anywhere and at any time. Something that would be completely inconceivable if management or HR officers needed to attend government offices, closed during the lockdown.
- Been able to check any time the status of their government-related administrative processes, which has been critical in the new world of grants, administrative appeals and claims, applications by businesses for government pandemic support, among others.
- A Digital Certificate does not just provide the same certainty and reliability as a physical signature – it is better.
- Had all their information in dedicated up-to-date computer files
- Saved the cost of messengers and printing, which are themselves not very environmentally friendly.
The dramatic situation brought about by COVID-19 has taught us a lot about many tools related to digital ID and digital certificates. Technology that we will surely continue to make the same heavy use of in the new normal.
If you want to find out more about the advantages of digital identity and digital certificates, request a demo to see for yourself or contact us. We will be delighted to help you with all your queries.