TSB Bank - first bank to use the RealMe service

11 November 2013

TSB Bank’s new customers will be the first in New Zealand to be able to open an account using the RealMe service on a smartphone.

The bank is the first private sector organisation in New Zealand to use the RealMe identity service developed by New Zealand Post and the Department of Internal Affairs to securely prove a person’s identity remotely, as they would normally do in person with their passport or drivers licence.

“We’re excited to be the first New Zealand bank to use the RealMe service,” TSB Bank Managing Director Kevin Murphy says.

“RealMe will over time help transform the online and mobile services we offer our customers.

“Under the pilot we’ll be running, new customers will be able to download our [my]bank App to their smartphone and use it to sign up for a bank account with a few taps on their smart-phone rather than having to supply us with copies of ID or come into a branch, making the process much easier for both parties.

“The service will be available on iPhones first and then on Android phones by the end of November.”

Head of Agency Services at New Zealand Post Mandy Smith says New Zealand Post is delighted that TSB Bank is ready to go with this market leading digital service.

“The Bank has recognised that RealMe will make it much easier for customers to do business with them, and can open the door for new, more convenient customer services.

“It is also an important new service for the future with much tighter rules on the way as countries including New Zealand move to combat international counterfeiting and money laundering.”

Ms Smith says RealMe is not just for the banking industry.

“There are already more than 43 online services using RealMe login across central and local government.

“We expect that next year more private and public sector organisations will start using RealMe for services ranging from insurance, KiwiSaver schemes and enrolling to vote services,” Ms Smith says.

RealMe is a partnership between the Department of Internal Affairs and New Zealand Post.

What is RealMe?

  • It is a new and secure way for people living in New Zealanders to access services and prove their identity online.
  • It is an online innovation developed by the government and New Zealand Post.
  • It can be used to prove who people are online, as they would do with their passport or drivers licence in person.

What are the benefits?

  • It gives customer the choice to do important transactions completely online instead of having to front up in person with ID to complete a transaction.
  • With new rules coming in such as Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism legislation it’s likely people will have to prove their identity more often and with more certainty so RealMe will make this easier for organisations and their customers to do so online.
  • RealMe could provide real cost savings, improved customer experience and uptake from streamlined processes for organisations that chose to use RealMe for their customers.

How is privacy and security protected?

  • Privacy protectionOpens in a new window. was at the heart of the RealMe design and a number of independent privacy impact assessments were completed as part of its development.
  • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner was involved in initial consultation on the RealMe service.
    • The key was to ensure individuals retain full control over personal information, who they send it to and when; and to ensure the solution is highly secure.
    • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner continues to be consulted as the RealMe service is further developed and enhanced. This will be the case in the future.
  • People retain full control over their personal information.
    • The RealMe service enables people to give consent to organisations that hold their official information to share it with another organisation. But only when people say it's okay to do so. People’s account records provide a clear history of where and when they have used their ID.
    • Shared information is not stored by RealMe. RealMe only holds the information needed to manage people’s account. People’s official information continues to be held by the government departments or organisations that already hold it.
  • In addition to the security of people’s user name and password, every time they use RealMe as their secure online ID, a code is sent to their mobile phone which they’ll need to log in with. This two step process makes RealMe even more secure by providing second factor authentication.