2 Jul 2013

Online identity verification system launched

2:04 pm on 2 July 2013

New Zealand Post expects to be able to announce soon which companies will be using the digital verification system it has developed with the Department of Internal Affairs.

'RealMe' is a log-on system which can be used by organisations to authenticate their customers.

The system has been launched this week and is designed to be used throughout the public and private sectors.

It means people have to have their identity verified only once, and will then be able to access services like online passport services.

People can register online to create a profile using data, like their passport number, then go to their local post shop to have their photo taken and identity confirmed through the Department of Internal Affairs.

The system will help the financial sector with new verification requirements as part of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act, which has just come into effect.

Department of Internal Affairs general manager of identity and data services, David Philp, says the system will be free and will protect people's privacy.

"The RealMe system itself doesn't hold any data on people, just accesses the databases that already exist in Government with the security around those."

The verification system is part of New Zealand Post's digital strategy to help counter the effect of declining mail volumes.