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Credit union becomes first lender to trial Digital iD

by Reporter6 minute read
Virtual identity

Credit union CUA has become the first lender to trial a new digital identity verification service launched by Australia Post.

The latest in a line of launches of verification of identity (VOI) apps, Australia Post’s Digital iD™ allows users to verify their identity through a smartphone app to prove who they are both online and in person.

According to Australia Post research, existing identity verification processes currently cost the Australian economy “up to $11 billion a year” and can be time-consuming.

As such, it has developed the Digital iD™ platform in a bid to make VOI more convenient and efficient by removing the need to use several forms of identity and remembering multiple passwords to access products and services.


The app has already been used by customers using Australia Post’s MyPost Parcel Collect and Mail Redirection Service, but will be rolled out more broadly across the market now that the app has been taken up by a range of companies and government departments.

Australia’s largest credit union, CUA, has become the first banking provider to commit to trial the service, which should be rolled out “later this year”.

CUA will initially offer Digital iD™ for new members applying for a CUA eSaver Reward or eSaver Boost account online or via their mobile device, enabling them to verify their identity online in minutes.

The trial will commence in the coming months, and aims to help more members join CUA and open an account digitally, without needing to complete the application in-person at a branch.

CUA’s chief digital officer, Sue Coulter, said that the lender had been working closely with Australia Post for a number of months to help co-develop the Digital iD™ solution and provide advice on opportunities for its adoption into banking and insurance.

“By leveraging Australia Post’s innovation and their expertise in identity verification, CUA is making it possible for even more members to join CUA quickly and easily, either online or from their mobile device,” Ms Coulter said.

“As a member-owned organisation, there is a lot of benefit in us collaborating with a large organisation like Australia Post, allowing us to use their expertise to bring innovations like this to members much sooner than if we were to develop them ourselves.”

Ms Coulter said that it was “exciting” to be one of the first organisations to be working with Australia Post on the platform, and said she hoped it could help “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”.

Ms Coulter did suggest that the tool could also help overcome common barriers to VOI checks, such as recent change of addresses.

“Recently, changing addresses is one of the most common reasons that people are unsuccessful in verifying their identity as part of an online application, so being able to tap into Australia Post’s wealth of data to increase the ability to verify those individuals is a huge step forward,” she said.

While there are no imminent plans to use Digital iD™ for home loans, it could theoretically be used to fulfil the VOI requirements of the mortgage process—in a similar way to how e4’s Virtual VOI platform (utilised by HashChing) does.

Other organisations that have committed to trialling the Digital iD™ platform are:

- job outsourcing site Airtasker, which will use the app to enable users to obtain an identity "badge" to prove who they are;

- foreign exchange company Travelex, which will use the technology as part of its Know Your Customer checks for online ordering systems; and

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

Andrew Walduck, Australia Post Executive General Manager Trusted eCommerce Services, commented: "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."

[Related: Up to 60% of broker application rework caused by VOI problems]



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