Stuff reports:

The range of services New Zealanders can access online is set to expand dramatically with the launch of a new Government-backed identity verification scheme that could let people get a mortgage and exchange contracts on properties without ever leaving their couch.

The RealMe service is due to be rolled out to businesses like banks next month and proponents say the benefits for consumers could be huge.

The Government is also investigating initiatives like allowing travellers to fill out departure cards online before leaving the country.

That would be good. Such a hassle to do at the airport when you just want to get through as quickly as possible.

The service builds on the iGovt identity verification service, which aims to let users log into a range of government websites with a single username and password.

From July, businesses will be able to sign up, and users will prove their identity using the same user name and password.

The advantage for users is the high level of security – a code will be texted to their mobile phone every time their RealMe identity is used.

The advantage to businesses like banks is that it provides a higher level of identity verification than is currently available because of the hook up with the government.

Sounds a useful service.

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