Post Office to launch biometric-powered digital ID app

Tyrone Stewart

The Post Office is set to begin expanding its use of digital identity services, inline with government plans to introduce more technology to make it quicker and easier for people to identify themselves.

Part of Post Office’s plans will see it rollout a free-to-use app, built in partnership with digital identity company Yoti. This app, launching in the Spring, will combine the personal data of customers with biometrics to create a reusable ID on their smartphones.

Customers will be able to choose what information they share with the app but, in general, it will mean they no longer need to carry documents such as driver’s license or passport to prove their identity. And Post Office is teaming up with businesses to ensure the app can be used for online and in-person transactions including one-click bank account applications, job applications, mortgage applications, proof of age for the purchase of restricted goods, picking up parcels, and for travel purposes.

“Access to products and services are increasingly moving online, whether it’s opening a bank account, applying for a job, accessing medical services or buying goods,” said Post Office Identity Services Director, Elinor Hull. “We’re responding to this shift with a free-to-use app that will allow customers to build their own secure digital identity on their smartphone, enabling them to easily control and prove who they are to whichever business they want to interact with. For businesses, we are providing a suite of transactional and reusable identity verification services that will enable them to serve their customers with ease, trust and at low cost.” 

For customers who don’t have access to a smartphone, or who prefer to confirm their identity face-to-face, Post Office will also be introducing new in-branch digital services.

“Post Office is embracing new technologies and this partnership will enhance our reputation as the trusted go-to destination for identity solutions. Whether it’s proving your identity on a smartphone or face-to-face with a Postmaster, we will make transactions faster and simpler than ever before,” said Post Office Chief Executive, Nick Read.

“I am delighted that Post Office and Yoti are joining forces to expand our identity services. We have an ambitious strategy to deliver a unique offer to the market that integrates digital and physical identity verification at scale benefitting both individuals and businesses.”