Banker BNZ is implementing NZ Post's RealMe authentication system, meaning that from mid-February anyone with a verified RealMe account can open a BNZ account online.
BNZ follows TSB, which rolled RealMe out in November, in adopting the government-built and owned platform.
BNZ says the new capability means new customers can complete the entire sign up experience online, removing the need to visit a branch with identity documents to prove who they are.
RealMe uses biometric verification technology in what BNZ says is a world-first capability in identity verification. Users get a biometric photograph taken at a Post Shop when activating their accounts.
In 2012 legislation was passed to allow private sector organisations to use the system.
"RealMe capability further enables us to offer a truly end-to-end digital experience for the increasing number of customers who want to do their day-to-day transactional banking when and where they choose," says BNZ's director of retail, Andy Symons.
Symons says that balancing convenience with security is always a consideration for the bank in developing new products and capability.
“Verifying new customers’ identity is a very important foundation for a secure banking system. RealMe technology makes life faster and easier for new BNZ customers while satisfying the high standards of identity verification required under New Zealand law and importantly ensuring customers retain total control of how and who they provide their personal information to.”
New Zealand Post Group Head of Agency Services Mandy Smith says momentum around RealMe was building quickly in the private sector, with businesses – particularly those among the estimated 5500 companies impacted by the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism legislation that came into force last year – showing a high level of interest.
BNZ is the first of the big four Australian-owned banks to adopt RealMe.