Is there anything we can’t do with our smartphones these days? As more of us start to manage our bank accounts, apply for official documents, organise travel and everything else, official agencies often struggle to keep up with the changes. Over the past few years, government services including the process for DBS checks has changed considerably, with the volumes of applications being completed online rising year on year. The latest announcement from the Disclosure and Barring Service sees the integration of DBS checks with a wide range of payment options, including Apple Pay.

At present, only people applying for basic DBS checks can pay for their certificate in this way. A basic DBS check is confirmation of someone’s unspent criminal convictions and cautions only. Anyone can ask for a basic disclosure check for any reason. You could even choose to apply for a basic disclosure check on yourself. Employers may also ask workers to have a basic DBS check to make sure that they are being honest about their criminal past. A basic disclosure check will not show any convictions or cautions which are considered as “spent” under other circumstances. There is a list of specific jobs which might require a more detailed check, but individuals are not able to apply for these types of disclosure themselves.


How It All Works

The main advantage of using systems such as Apple Pay or Google Pay when applying for your basic disclosure check is that once set up on your smartphone, you don’t need to keep putting in your details every time you wish to pay for something online. All you need is your fingerprint, or if you’re using one of the latest iPhone models, it will work on facial recognition too. At the point of the DBS application process where you are asked to enter your credit card details, just select the Apple or Google Pay icon to progress more quickly.


Future Roll-Out of Online Payment

Basic DBS checks are different from the other levels of checking as applicants go through the entire process themselves. At the stage where you have to prove your identity by showing key documents, this is done through an online verification process rather than by showing your employer passport, driving licence, bills etc. This also raises why the system hasn’t yet been rolled out to other types of DBS checks.

If you apply for a standard or enhanced disclosure check, there is another level of checking. This involves showing your key identity and address documents to your employer, or the other organisation asking for a DBS check. This extra stage in the process makes integrating payment services a little trickier. Most companies will fund disclosure checks for their employees, and companies are not the main market for online payment services.

However, there is a growing trend for moving all manner of government services online. Most organisations complete payroll, tax and VAT returns online. The government has made it clear that they want to move everything else online eventually too.