New Zealand Post is no longer in charge of private sector business development for the government's RealMe identity verification service.
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) confirmed today that it was taking over the private sector relations role that NZ Post has managed since RealMe was launched in 2013.
DIA said the move was mutually agreed with NZ Post at the end of January and came into effect on 19 February.
While there was no public announcement of the shift, DIA said letters were sent to private sector clients with live services and those who had signed agreements with NZ Post but don’t yet have live services.
"NZ Post also sent emails to all of their clients and some of their prospects, and we jointly met with some of the key clients," DIA told Reseller News.
Public sector clients were also informed.
"To meet rising citizens’ expectations, we’re making sure people have easy access to public services, which are designed around them, when they need them," DIA said in a statement.
"Services are increasingly being integrated, incorporating service provision from both the public and private sectors and across agencies.
"With that in mind a new model sees DIA in charge of RealMe business development and engagement with the private sector, as well as continuing to manage relationships with government agencies."
With the needs of public and private sector becoming more and more entwined it made sense for RealMe to be driven by a single entity, DIA said.
PostShops will, however, continue to be used for address verification services and issuance support such as taking photos and scanning documents.
NZ Post said that with customer numbers continuing to grow and the needs of government and private sector customers converging, it was decided it would be more effective for RealMe to be managed by a single entity.
As reported by Reseller News, RealMe customer numbers are growing but still lag well behind initial projections (see chart).
The original RealMe business case projected 1.7 million verified accounts by the end of the 2017 year but only 309,652 had been achieved.
According to the DIA, as of 31 January 2018, the number of verified identities had grown to 397,472.