RealMe verification gets an e-signature boost via Secured Signing

New Zealand government-owned authentication service RealMe inks a deal that will deliver e-signature capability and biometric identification.

Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne welcomed a partnership between the RealMe verification service and Secured Signing, saying it will give people using e-signatures an easy and reliable way to assure identity.

Secured Signing enables people to sign documents electronically while RealMe, owned by NZ Post, enables them to prove who they are online.

Used together, the services boost convenience and assurance for people who are signing documents, Dunne said.

"With the benefits of biometric identification in its toolkit, Secured Signing can now offer its clients more surety about shifting their businesses online," said NZ Post's head of agency services and RealMe, Mandy Smith.

Launched in July 2013, RealMe provides two services: a RealMe basic account, and a RealMe verified account used by partners such as banks. The latter service, however, had struggled to win users.

During the 2014 financial year, RealMe gained 15,212 new verified accounts, well short of its target of 50,000 to 100,000.

However, since then more government services, such as the Department of Internal Affairs' register for births, deaths and marriages, have come on board and uptake has accelerated.

RealMe Verified Identity numbers are now over 62,000, NZ Post said.

"There has been roughly a five-fold increase in applications from individuals for a Verified Identity since late May when, along with the StudyLink loan applications online, you can get a RealMe Verified ID when renewing your NZ Passport online without needing to go to a PostShop for photo ID," a spokeswoman said.

Banks BNZ and TSB have adopted RealMe as well as a host of government services, including the Electoral Commission and student loan service StudyLink.

Secured Signing runs a software as a service digital signature that enables users capture their signature and fill-in and verify documents online or via mobile phones..