Secure money saver

How many confidential or official documents must be sent by the post? Bank statements, payslips, licence renewals, invoices,… Why can’t they be sent electronically? The over-riding reason is to guarantee a real address.

The “Private and Confidential” sticker is irrelevant once it has been delivered to the household, but the sender has done as much as they can – or have they? Shouldn’t the recipient have the choice of asking for such documents being sent to a secure, encrypted, email inbox?

The benefits to the recipient are:

  • Password, or token, protection to keep mails private and confidential.
  • Correspondence filed electronically
  • Readable from any location
  • Fewer paper cuts

The benefits to the sender, often public sector organisations, are far greater:

  • Reduced postal charges; 12 payslips a year must cost at least £2. That’s £2000 if you have a thousand pension payments to make.
  • Guaranteed delivery; there’s an audit trail to see if a document has been delivered and opened.
  • Interception free delivery and fewer non-delivery complaints to manage.
  • Ability to implement closed invoicing and payment processes with minimal intervention from administrators.

So here is a business proposition for the Local Authorities  (LAs) or the Post Office. Offer citizens a free, secure, encrypted, email inbox on a GCloud service. Offer any public or private sector organisation a secure, encrypted, traceable, email service at a sustainable annual fee. Some citizens may also wish to subscribe to a secure Web-based outbox for replying to secure inbox messages, or even to initiate communications.

The key to success is to link a secure email address with a property and a person.   Local Authorities have knowledge of the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) and at least one person responsible for paying Council Tax. They could minimise the risk of fraud by sanity checking the number of secure email accounts at each property.  LAs must lead on this innovation. There’s lots of work to do on the detail, but the good thing is that there’s an Agile solution because the basic facilities are available out of the box. Quarkside is trialling them now.

At some time in the future, this service could stimulate interest from the Electoral Registration Transformation Programme (ERTP, IVR and EIR are among the abbreviations). You read it here first.



Register for Secure Emails

Filed under: Innovation,Local Government,Privacy,Security,Technology — lenand @ 12:16 pm
Tags: ,

One of the benefits of networking events is that you come across interesting new products. Here is one spotted by Andrew Henderson.

It’s a secure email service, Regify.

  • It looks good for encrypted messages and traceable delivery.
  • It  avoids the need for complex VPN, GovConnect or key infrastructure.
  • The web mail service seems fast enough.
  • Outlook users can have an add-in
  • Each recipient has to have an account, which is free and simple to enrol.
  • There’s a monthly charge for sending emails – but you can sign up for a free month to start you off.

Quarkside thinks that this would be an excellent Cloud based service for Local Authorities. They could send secure emails to enrolled citizens, suppliers, partners and service providers with a traceable guarantee of receipt. Some citizens might appreciate this as a free secure inbox service to them. Some citizens and suppliers might even be prepared to pay a subscription to send secure emails to Councils.

Security and accountability are high in the governance agenda and it could become part of the infrastructure for voter registration, Universal Credit and service requests. Is anybody  else prepared to give it a try?

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