Technology & software

Post Office customers can now collect parcels and letters using a free app for easier ID-verification

Post Office has announced that customers can now collect parcels and letters from Post Offices using an app on their phone to show their ID, instead of having to bring a document such as a passport or driving licence with them.

The use of the new Post Office EasyID app will complement existing face-to-face ID verification using documents, providing a convenient alternative for those who choose it.

Among other benefits, the app will make life easier for the millions of people who buy items online from retailers and get them delivered to their local Post Office for collection. It is also handy for those who miss a home mail delivery and choose to get it delivered to a local Post Office instead, especially since many Post Offices are often open in the evening.

The free to download Post Office EasyID app can already be used for completing online transactions that require proof of identity and can be used across the UK at:

  • 10,500 Post Offices for mail collection.
  • 5,000 Post Offices that offer National Lottery ticket purchases or for claiming prizes under £500.
  • 13,000 Payzone outlets within convenience stores as a proof of identity or a proof of age for example when buying a national lottery ticket or age-restricted items such as cigarettes.
  • 12,000 retailers across the UK that already accept ID provided by Yoti, the digital identity company the Post Office has partnered with.

To use the Post Office EasyID app, customers download it from Android Play or the Apple App Store. They then verify their identity using documents such as a passport, driving licence or national ID card, and facial recognition software – like that used by automated airport barriers. This creates a secure digital ID on their mobile device, including their photo and date of birth, which is protected by their biometrics and a PIN, and can be presented in Post Offices and shops.

Yoti already provides digital IDs for staff in the NHS, Virgin Atlantic and the States of Jersey. Its approach minimises use and collection of data, and champions privacy and security.

Introducing the new Post Office EasyID app is the latest development in the Post Office’s strategy to embrace new technology and deliver improvements that help Postmasters operate more efficiently. As Governments and businesses across the UK seek to facilitate easier confirmation of identity digitally in order to access services and to help combat fraud, the Post office’s EasyID app provides people with a free-to-use service that can be used to control with whom and how they share their identity.

Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said:

“Our free-to-use Post Office EasyID app is all about making life a little bit easier for the millions of people who use our branches to collect their parcels and other mail. Having the app means you don’t need to show a physical copy of your driving licence or passport to prove your identity, meaning a quicker and safer experience in a branch.

“The app allows customers to build their own secure digital identity on their smartphone, enabling them to easily control and prove who they are to whichever business they want to interact with. We see this as an exciting opportunity for customers and postmasters alike and expect the app to become a standard way of verifying ID for many businesses nationwide.

“For Postmasters, the app brings a range of particular advantages. As well as making the collection process faster, it will encourage people to choose delivery to Post Offices and help drive footfall. In addition, the app can be used for proof of age in Post Offices and shops, to buy age-restricted items including lottery tickets and medicines.”

Robin Tombs, Co-Founder and CEO of Yoti, said:

“Having announced our partnership with Post Office in February, we’re delighted to see our first service go live so quickly – it’s a testament to the collaboration between our teams.

“The UK government earlier this year said that ‘a digital identity you can use easily and universally will be the cornerstone of future economies, unlock the digital economy, improve access to services, safeguard privacy and combat fraud.’ EasyID demonstrates that Post Office and Yoti are driving innovation that will benefit consumers, businesses and its own Postmasters alike.

“Together we will transform the way that people prove their identity in the UK. We’ll remove friction from ID processes online and on the high street, and tackle the growing threat of identity fraud.”