BNZ has boosted its online capability, announcing today that it is the first of the big banks to partner with RealMe. From mid-February, anybody with a verified RealMe account can use it to open a range of BNZ transactional accounts online.

The new capability means new BNZ customers with a verified RealMe account can now choose to complete the entire sign up experience online. This removes the need to visit a store with identity documents to prove they are who they say they are.

Launched last year, RealMe is a partnership between the New Zealand government and New Zealand Post. Using biometric verification technology it boasts world-first capability in identity verification.

Director retail Andy Symons says the partnership enables BNZ customers complete choice regarding how they interact with their bank.

“Modern banking is about putting customers in the driving seat, and enabling our customers to do their banking when and how they choose has been a key foundation of the products and services we’ve been bringing to market over the past 18 months.

“It’s the basis of our award-winning YouMoney product, the PayClip payments capability, mobile banking and the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme. 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.”

Mr 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 she is delighted BNZ has signed up for the RealMe service.

“It’s an exciting development that will make it easier for customers to bank with BNZ.”

Ms Smith said momentum around RealMe was building quickly in the private sector, with businesses showing a high level of interest in signing up – 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.

Students attending Orientation Week across the country will have the opportunity to experience the capability first-hand. BNZ and RealMe will be at AUT, Auckland, Waikato, Victoria, Massey (Auckland, Wellington and Palmerston North campuses), Canterbury and Otago Universities during orientation week offering students a chance to use the technology themselves.

During orientation week, students will be able to complete the RealMe identity verification process on campus using their New Zealand passport number (as long as it was issued after January 2004). Students who aren’t New Zealand passport holders can get a verified RealMe account but will need to visit a participating PostShop to provide some additional identity documents to complete their application.

For further information please contact:

Claire Rennie, External Relations Consultant, BNZ
T. 09 976 3115, M. 021 834 652, E. or

Richard Trow, New Zealand Post
T. 04 4964566, M. 027 837 6179, E.

Media release. BNZ and New Zealand Post.