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Australia Post’s digital identity platform to be adopted by businesses and government

Australia Post’s newly developed Digital iD™ technology is being adopted by a range of companies and government departments. It will offer Australians a more convenient way to verify their identity online, safely and securely and access important services.

The organisations adopting the identity platform include Job outsourcing site, Airtasker; Australia's largest credit union, CUA; foreign exchange company Travelex; and the Queensland Police Service.

In May, Australia post announced that it will work with the Digital Transformation Agency to integrate its identity technology into the Commonwealth's Digital Identity Framework. The Commonwealth's Digital Identity Framework is a set of standards, processes and partnerships to guide the Government's formation of a federated system of identity providers.

Digital iD™ allows people to verify their identity information once, so they can then easily prove who they are online and in person through the platform's smartphone app. This removes the need for Australians to repeatedly use several forms of identity to prove who they are or have numerous passwords to access products and services.

The Digital iD™ platform also gives people more control over the personal data they share with organisations. For example, most people hand over their driver's licence to prove they can legally go to a bar. But the license has more information than is required for this verification. All that is needed is a name and birth date – not that information plus the full residential address.

Australia Post Executive General Manager Trusted eCommerce Services, Andrew Walduck, said collaborating with different companies and government departments, to extend the roll out of Digital iD™, reinforced Australia Post's commitment to helping people and communities connect to important everyday services.

"We are really excited to be partnering with these organisations. By using Digital ID™ these organisations will be able to easily verify their customers and importantly for customers they will be able to quickly open a bank account or request a service," Mr Walduck said.

According to a white paper on Digital Identity published by Australia Post in December 2016, existing identity verification processes were time consuming and cost the Australian economy up to $11 billion a year, according to Australia Post research.

"That's why we have developed the safe and secure Digital iD™ platform, so people can prove who they say they are when they are interacting online with government and private sector organisations," Mr Walduck said.

Digital iD™ has already been integrated with Australia Post’s own products and services including MyPost Parcel Collect and Mail Redirection Service and positive feedback has been received from customers.

Queensland Police Service will incorporate Digital iD™ into its national police clearance certificates process to be launched later this year.

Airtasker will use Digital iD™ to allow its users to obtain an identity 'badge' to prove who they are, strengthening trust in its service. CUA will adopt the technology to verify new members applying for selected savings accounts online or via their mobile device, enabling more people to complete the process digitally without visiting a physical branch. Travelex will use the technology as part of its Know Your Customer Checks.

Airtasker co-founder and Chief Executive Tim Fung said: "the success of the sharing economy is based on the trust created between members of the community and verified identity is a huge part of building that trust".

"Previously both consumers and service providers had to spend way too much time verifying their identity and what the Digital iD really does is give platforms like Airtasker a simple way to build trust," Mr Fung said.

"With quicker verification and better control of their personal information, consumers will have much more confidence to engage with service providers in their local community. Similarly, companies and governments will have greater confidence that they know who they're doing business with."

CUA Chief Digital Officer Sue Coulter said it was exciting to be one of the first organisations in Australia to be working with Australia Post on this platform. Ms Coulter said,"CUA is really focused on finding ways to be available to our members 'anywhere, anytime' through digital channels. This innovation provides an opportunity to deliver a better member experience for consumers applying for CUA's digital products and services, while introducing members to a service that could also streamline their interaction with a range of other service providers where identity verification may be required in the future."

Travelex Online Country Manager James Vatiliotis said: "we're partnering with Australia Post to integrate Digital iD within our current online ordering systems, allowing Australians to fulfil all their currency needs through Travelex.com.au, without the need of visiting a Travelex store."

Featured image: Marc Pletinckx/ CC BY-SA 4.0

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