Post Office launches digital ID verification service

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Customers in the UK can now collect parcels and letters from Post Office branches using an app displaying their ID.

The Post Office EasyID app is free to download and can already be used for completing online transactions that require proof of identity.

Instead of carrying a physical document such as a driving license or passport, EasyID can be used as proof of identity at 10,500 Post Offices for mail collection; 5,000 Post Offices that offer National Lottery ticket purchases; 13,000 Payzone outlets within convenience stores; and 12,000 retailers across the UK that already accept ID provided by Yoti, the digital identity company that Post Office has partnered with.

To use the Post Office EasyID app, customers verify documents such as a passport, driving license or national ID card on the app using facial recognition technology. This creates a secure digital ID on their mobile device, including their photo and date of birth, which is protected by their biometrics and a PIN.

Yoti already provides digital IDs for staff in the National Health Service, Virgin Atlantic and the Government of Jersey.

Nick Read, chief executive at Post Office, said, “Our free-to-use Post Office EasyID app is all about making life a little bit easier for the millions of people who use our branches to collect their parcels and other mail. Having the app means you don’t need to show a physical copy of your driving license or passport to prove your identity, meaning a quicker and safer experience in a branch.

“The app allows 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. We see this as an exciting opportunity for customers and postmasters alike, and expect the app to become a standard way of verifying ID for many businesses nationwide.

“For postmasters, the app brings a range of particular advantages. As well as making the collection process faster, it will encourage people to choose delivery to Post Offices and help drive footfall. In addition, the app can be used for proof of age in Post Offices and shops, to buy age-restricted items including lottery tickets and medicines.”

Robin Tombs, co-founder and CEO of Yoti, said, “Having announced our partnership with Post Office in February, we’re delighted to see our first service go live so quickly – it’s a testament to the collaboration between our teams.

“The UK government earlier this year said that “a digital identity you can use easily and universally will be the cornerstone of future economies, unlock the digital economy, improve access to services, safeguard privacy and combat fraud”. EasyID demonstrates that Post Office and Yoti are driving innovation that will benefit consumers, business and its own postmasters alike.

“Together we will transform the way that people prove their identity in the UK. We’ll remove friction from ID processes online and on the high street, and tackle the growing threat of identity fraud.”

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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