Experian Identity Service Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated May 2018

Q1: What is Experian ID?

A: Experian ID is designed to allow you to more readily identify yourself to organisations when online. Experian ID is based upon the principle of ‘register once’ and ‘use with many’. Initially the use of an Experian ID will have been associated with Experian and GOV.UK Verify. Over time you’ll see that more organisations will display the Experian ID logo and thereby allowing you to more readily identify yourself to more organisations.

Once you have an Experian ID all you need to do to confirm your identity is to log in when requested using your Experian ID credentials – your username, password and a further method you will have set up, for example memorable word or receiving a security code to your mobile.

As well as confirming your identity to an organisation, the organisation will also receive details of your personal attributes, for example, name, address, date of birth. These may be used to set up a new account you are applying for, match you to your existing account or identify a change you’ve made to your personal details e.g. a change of address.

As more organisations accept the Experian ID, the range of personal attributes you may be requested to consent to being passed to an organisation is likely to increase. For example, an investment / savings company may ask for details of the current account you’re going to use to pay into your new account. This can be done using your Experian ID.

Over time the amount of information you’ll have to key in online will reduce as you’ll be able to share the personal attributes you have accumulated in your Experian ID. The extent to which you associate your personal attributes with your Experian ID will be entirely controlled by you. Who you share these attributes with will be entirely controlled by you.

Some additional information about Experian ID

Experian has been a trusted provider of data services for many years and has gained a vast array of experience in providing solutions that provide our Clients with confidence that the identity asserted by their customers is as stated. This service expands that service to provide individuals with a mechanism to gain a trusted identity that can be provided to those organisations they wish to do business with, without the inconvenience of offline checks on identity being required.

Q2 : ‘How do I set up an Experian ID?'

When you first set up an Experian ID your journey will have started with an organisation that allows you to use an Experian ID. For example, this may be a government department that displays the GOV.UK Verify logo or Experian.

When you choose Experian ID you’ll be re-directed to the Experian ID service, engaging with this service online. You’ll then be taken through a registration, identity proofing and credential set up process.

You’ll be asked to: -

  • Use your email address to create a username and to set up a password and memorable word. These will allow you to log back in to Experian ID in the future.
  • Confirm consent of your acceptance of the Experian ID terms and conditions and privacy policy which you’ll be able to read online.
  • Enter your personal details – name, address, date of birth, gender, mobile number
  • Provide additional evidence as requested. This could include details of your passport or driving licence. It could also include details of your current account or credit card.
  • Answer a few questions relating to your financial details e.g. what was the balance on your last credit card statement.
  • Potentially take an image of your passport or driving licence using the Experian ID app download to your mobile device in order for it to be sent to a document expert to confirm that it looks genuine. You may be asked to provide a selfie to allow this to be compared to the photo on the document.
  • The final step in the process will be to set up additional credentials where the service or product you are trying to access requires a higher level of assurance e.g. if you’re trying to access your HMRC details. The types of additional credentials include the receipt of a security code via a text to your mobile which you enter into Experian ID to confirm that you received it.
  • You’ll see a ‘congratulations’ screen confirming that you have set up your Experian ID. You’ll be re-directed back to the organisation that you started with at the beginning in order to carry on your journey.
  • You’ll also receive an Experian ID email asking you to click on a link to confirm your email address. You’ll also receive a ‘congratulations’ email.

Q3: How does Experian ID work?

After you’ve set up your Experian ID, when you next see the Experian ID logo on an organisation’s online site and you click on Experian ID to prove your identity to the organisation you’ll be re-directed to Experian ID. You’ll be asked to enter your username, password and second credential.

You may be asked to confirm a set of personal attributes that the organisation has requested to be returned. You are then re-directed back to the organisation. It’s a very quick process.

Where the organisation has requested your personal attributes then generally these will be used to pre-populate the organisation’s page and thereby not require you to enter in the details yourself.

During the life of your Experian ID

You may be asked to re-submit some of the original evidence that you used in the identity proofing process e.g. re-enter your credit card details. You’ll have the opportunity to provide alternative evidence if the original evidence is not available.

From time to time your Experian ID will be re-verified. This may be done in the background with no requirement for you to engage in the process. There may be circumstances where you’re asked to provide additional evidence or answer a few questions relating to your financial details.

If you don’t verify your email when you first receive the email request at the beginning of the process, then you’ll receive a reminder.

If you don’t verify your email address, eventually you may not be able to use your Experian ID e.g. with government departments. In addition, you’ll not be able to receive recovery emails e.g. when you need to recover your password, and therefore you’ll not be able to use your Experian ID to assert your identity to an organisation.

Q4: Managing your Experian ID

You can log in to Manage Your Experian ID to access a range of functions

  • Change your personal details e.g. when you move to a new address
  • Manage your credentials e.g. when you change your mobile number
  • Close your account. There’s a cooling off period to allow you to change your mind. When the Experian ID is closed it cannot be re-opened. You’d need to register again from new.

Experian ID Helpdesk

The Helpdesk is available for you to speak to an agent if you experience difficulties using your Experian ID or you lock yourself out of your Experian ID. The agent can also close your Experian ID on your behalf with no cooling off period.

Q5: When I registered for an Experian ID as part of the GOV.UK Verify scheme, why did you ask for so much information?

A: We follow the standards laid down by GOV.UK that govern the way we verify peoples’ identities and this means that we have to ensure your identity exists and it’s really you registering. This protects you from being impersonated by someone else pretending to be you.

Q6: Why haven’t you been able to verify my identity when I applied to see my Experian Credit Score?

A: Due to the sensitive nature of the information we hold about you, we have a number of rigorous identity checks which are completed when you apply to see your Experian Credit Score. There are a few reasons which may stop us from being able to verify your identity; for example:

  • There may be too little information held about you. For example, if you’ve recently moved house it can take a while for electoral roll records to be updated and for lenders and utility providers to update us with your new details.
  • You may have answered the verification questions incorrectly without realising. For example, you could have entered a nickname and not your full name.

Q7: I have lived at the same address for many years and you cannot verify my identity as part of the GOV.UK Verify scheme. Why is this?

A: The evidence we use includes the content of your Experian credit file. We may also ask for passport, driving licence, credit card, debit and current account details. If you don’t have this type of evidence, even though you’ve lived at your address for many years we have no other ways of establishing this.

Q8: My identity has not been verified. What do I do next?

A: Sometimes you may not be verified immediately because your identity needs to be manually reviewed. You’ll be advised of this on screen and be asked to check back in a few days later.

Sometimes there is just not enough information available to prove your identity, so your application won’t proceed. This is often due to a recent house move and not supplying enough previous addresses. You can wait for your bank, for example, to update Experian with your new address which could take a month or more. Alternatively, you could provide more previous addresses.

Please note - when you attempt to answer the questions it is best to have the correct information to hand rather than guess.

If you still cannot get through the process successfully then the organisation may have an alternative method for you to prove your identity to them.

Government services using GOV.UK Verify should have alternative arrangements.

Q9: Will I have to pay for the Experian ID?

A: No - there’s no charge to register for an Experian ID and no charge to use your Experian ID to assert your identity.

Q10: Will you share my Experian ID information with anyone?

A: You’ll be in control of who you share your personal details as it’s only shared with an organisation as a direct result of you using your Experian ID with that organisation.

Q11: Do I need to tell you when my Experian ID information changes?

A: Yes - this is to make sure your personal details are as up to date as possible and is designed to protect you - so, for example, if you move house you should update your details. We’ll verify your new address, so please ensure that you’ve already updated your details with your bank, Voters Roll, utilities etc.

Q12: Is the identity check, undertaken as part of the Experian ID registration, a credit reference check?

A: No - the identity check isn’t a credit reference check.

Q13: Does having an identity check affect my credit rating?

A: No - the identity check won’t affect your credit rating.

Q14: If I use my Experian ID will this affect my credit rating?

A: No.

Q15: Will my credit information be passed to anyone when I use my Experian ID?

A: No - the Experian ID doesn’t hold credit information and can’t pass your credit information to anyone.

Q16: Will my bank find out that I have applied for something with another organisation?

No - if you use your Experian ID to provide your identity to an organisation, no information will be passed to your bank or be made available for your bank to access.

Q17: Why are you asking me personal questions about my financial matters?

A: When you first register for an Experian ID we need to prove who you are and we need to make sure it's you and not someone pretending to be you. In order to do this, we ask you questions that only you’d know the answers to. These questions are based on information that you’ve previously agreed to share. For example, if you agreed to share information when you took out a mobile phone contract, we’ll be able to ask you who your mobile phone contract is with and you should know the correct answer.

By answering these questions correctly, this confirms that it is really you.

Q18: Do the answers to the personal questions you ask get passed to anyone?

A: No - we don’t pass on any answers you give.

Q19: Can I close my Experian ID when I want to?

A: Yes - whenever you want to. You can close it online via the Manage Your Experian ID facility. The link is contained within the welcome email we sent you. Alternatively, you can call the Experian ID Helpdesk and close it. The Helpdesk agent will ensure that it's really you that is requesting the closure before any action is taken. You can find the contact details by clicking on the Contact Us link at the bottom of the Experian ID screen (next to the FAQs link).

Please note – if you close your Experian ID you may lose the ability to access the services you may have subscribed to from the organisation. Closing your Experian ID won’t, in itself, close the subscription to their services. You’d also need to contact the organisation directly to cancel those subscriptions too. However, there’s no need to close your Experian ID – you can cancel your subscription with the organisation directly and leave your Experian ID for engaging with other organisations in the future.

Q20: Why do I need to tell you my email address?

A: Linking your email address to your Experian ID will make it more secure. If you tell us that you’ve forgotten your user name, for example, we’ll send you a reminder by email.

Q21: Why do I need to tell you my mobile phone number?

A: Linking your mobile phone to your Experian ID will make it more secure as it could be used to contact you about a security issue. Your mobile could also be used to receive a security code that you’ll be asked to enter via the Experian ID screen as part of the log in process.

Q22: Will you give my mobile number to other organisations that will sell me things?

A: No – we’ll only pass your personal details to the organisations that you choose to use your Experian ID with.

Q23: Why do I need a user name and password?

A: The username allows us to identify your Experian ID. The password tells us that it's you that is logging in using your Experian ID.

Q24: What is the memorable word for?

A: The memorable word gives us even more confidence that it's you logging in. The memorable word is created by you. You can also set up a 'hint' to help remind you what the memorable word is.

Q25: What should I do if someone gets to know my user name and password?

A: You can call the Experian ID Helpdesk and ask for your Experian ID to be suspended. The Helpdesk agent will ensure that it's really you that is requesting the closure before any action is taken. You can find the contact details by clicking on the Contact Us link at the bottom of the Experian ID screen (next to the FAQs link).

Q26: I am a registered Victim of Fraud with Experian - will I be asked for my password/why haven't I been asked for my password?

A: Your password is generally used when other parties are accessing your Experian held data, with your permission. In this service it is Experian who is doing the checking and we’re using stringent measures to validate your identity. We might not ask you for the password if you’re a Victim of Fraud, but we may ask numerous questions and do other checks to ensure that it’s really you applying.

Q27: How do I recover my password if I forget it?

A: If you’ve forgotten your username or password, you can recover it online through the Experian ID login screen. Alternatively, you can call the Experian ID Helpdesk and ask for a password re-set. The Helpdesk agent will ensure that it’s really you that is requesting the password re-set before any action is taken. The Experian ID Helpdesk phone number and opening times can be found on the Contact Us page (see link at bottom of each Experian ID screen).

Q28: How do you check my passport or drivers licence via the Experian Identity Service App?

A: We send a copy of your passport or drivers licence image to our document verification experts who will check the document. We may also ask you to take a ‘selfie’ which will be checked against the photo on the document. Only the images captured via the App are sent for checking. The scan of your document is not retained by the App or on your device. When the checks are complete, you’ll be sent an email asking you to log back in to Experian ID to continue the process.