Keep National Insurance numbers in Apple wallets now

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July 26, 2023
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Do you struggle to remember – or find – your National Insurance number when you’re asked for it? If so, you’re not alone. So, it will be a relief to many that HMRC has now created a way for iPhones to store someone’s National Insurance number in their Apple Wallet either online or through the HMRC App.

It means you can now check, share, and print your NI number in minutes, instead of having to wait up to 15 days for an NI number confirmation letter to arrive. It can also be saved to be used in future.

While this may seem high-tech, the taxman is keen to reassure employers that “this is genuine and should be accepted in the same way a letter would be”.

Is it safe?

If a fraudster had access to your NI number, it could cause you numerous problems. So, the safety of holding it in your Apple Wallet is a valid question. But given it is where we already hold our credit and debit cards so we can pay with our smart devices, there is no reason to think the NI number would be any less safe. You need a fingerprint, facial recognition, or a passcode to open the Apple Wallet, and this type of biometric security is highly effective.

If you have an employee showing you their NI number on their phone, then check their name corresponds correctly with the number you’re being shown. So you can keep a record of it, ask them to send you a screenshot with the details.

At the moment, this facility is only available on an iPhone, which means Android users will need to struggle on with their memory, their NI cards, or bits of paper for a little while longer. But an Android version is in the pipeline.

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