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UK official 'super app' for citizen economic data rollout inevitable, says top banker

Young Asian woman logging in to her laptop and holding smartphone on hand with a security key lock icon on the screen, sitting in the living room at cozy home. Privacy protection, internet and mobile security concept
The UK government could roll out a 'super app' that acts as an economic digital ID. Photo: Getty (d3sign via Getty Images)

The UK government will eventually roll out a 'super app' that houses each citizen's combined economic footprint, from credit ratings to know-your-customer (KYC) details, a top banker has predicted.

This economic digital ID would aim to follow in the footsteps of the swift and widespread adoption of the UK government's NHS health app, that soared in popularity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NHS app was first launched by the UK government in January 2019. This one stop shop of the health data for each UK citizens was met with little opposition at launch and gained widespread use when people needed to reveal their vaccination status during the subsequent coronavirus lockdowns.

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Since launch, the app has exploded in popularity and is now used by more than 22 million people in the UK.

The UK's financial sector has taken note of the NHS app's popularity and one top banking official predicts that the launch of an equivalent digital ID for UK citizen's economic data is inevitable.

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Referring to this 'super-app' that could carry all of the financial data of each UK citizen, Chair of UK Finance Bob Wigley said: "This will be the year that we finally persuade the banking system that we need an economic digital identity system, just like the NHS app."

Speaking at the New Digital Assets and Money Symposium conference in the City of London on Tuesday, he added: "This financial app will be personal and attached to each citizen as we need a wider fully digital economic identity programme."

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The member of the UK government's Trade Advisory Group for Financial Services at the Department for International Trade added: "If we don't do it, the big tech platforms will do it, so we should be designing it."

Wigley explained to Yahoo Finance that this app would carry everything from personal economic data such as credit ratings, to anti-money laundering data and know your customer (KYC) details.

He added: "It would be something each person would carry with them and they could then connect it to any platform or financial institution that they operate with, such as banks and insurance firms."

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