Consumers can now prove their identity when picking up parcels and other deliveries at post offices across the UK using a digital identity app rather than a paper document such as their passport or driving licence.
The Post Office EasyID app is available for both Apple and Android devices and can also be used at some 25,000 participating post offices, convenience stores and other retail outlets when purchasing age-restricted items such as lottery tickets and medicines, as well as for completing online transactions.
Once they have downloaded the app, users can create a digital ID secured by a five-digit PIN by scanning a document such as their passport, driving licence or national ID card and verifying their identity using face recognition technology by taking a selfie with their mobile device.
“The app will make life easier for millions of people who buy items online from retailers and get them delivered to their local post office for collection,” the Post Office says.
“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.”
“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,” it adds.
The Post Office also recently signed a deal with European parcel delivery service DPD to enable customers to “click and collect” parcels from its offices across the UK. The service is due to go live in the next three months.
UK retailers began exploring the possibility of using facial recognition technology to confirm a customer’s age following a call issued in March by the UK Home Office, inviting businesses to test digital IDs and other “innovative approaches to age verification”.