Passport/Photo ID Service Pilot in PostShop stores

30 August 2011

New Zealand Post is piloting a passport and ID photo service in 14 PostShop Kiwibank stores across the country as the next step in providing fuller identity verification for customers.

The selected stores are providing a photo capture service which is supported by a state-of-the-art system supplied by international biometrics and identity software company Daon.

Photo capture is the next step in New Zealand Post rolling out premium identity verification, building upon the existing identity checking services.  Following testing and customer and staff feedback, it is intended roll the new photo capture facility out in approximately 150 PostShop stores across New Zealand by early next year.

In addition to the photo capture/face quality assessment capabilities, the ‘DaonEngine’ system has the capacity for other biometric components such as signatures, biographical document capture and fingerprints.  This capacity will provide New Zealand Post with the ability to provide customers with sophisticated identity verification options.

The photo capture/face quality assessment capability is a significant point of difference to what else is available in the New Zealand market.   The passport photo hardware is automated and intuitive for correct positioning.   Photos cannot be taken until a number of automated criteria such as lighting, position, eyes open etc, meet pre-determined passport photo requirements.   There is significantly less chance of a PostShop photo being rejected by the relevant passport authority.  New Zealand Post will provide a free replacement set of photos in the unlikely event a photo is rejected by a passport authority.

The units are currently configured to meet the specific requirements of the Department of Internal Affairs for New Zealand passports and the British Home Office Identity and Passport Service for UK Passports.  New Zealand Post is an authorised agent for receiving UK Passport applications.  Other national passport configurations will be included at a later date.   If non-passport photos are required, the passport functionality can be turned off.

Passport photo services are operated successfully by UK Post and Australia Post.  The Daon technology is used in the 1300 Australia Post outlets providing passport photo services.

Feeback from customers and staff in the pilot stores will play a valuable role in refining the process to ensure speed, quality and convenience are achieved.  A set of six high resolution, full colour photographs printed on high quality paper costs $20.

Stores trialling the passport ID photo capture technology:

Read the Dominion Post article - 'NZ Post's hi-tech photo capture system'.