Applying for passports just got easier
A launch event at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, on September 30 saw Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, announce that South Africans would soon be able to apply for their Smart IDs and passports at banks around the country.
The implementation project is being piloted until the end of November and, based on the results, a national roll-out will commence at certain FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank branches. Over 1 800 Smart ID cards have been issued to FNB and Standard Bank employees as part of the pilot process so far.
Home Affairs spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete, told eTNW that the pilot phase was testing systems in Standard Bank, FNB and Nedbank. “These banks are extending these services, which involve applications and collections of Smart ID cards and SA passports for their employees.”
Nedbank is in the process of finalising installation of systems at its offices in Sandton and will commence with the testing phase in the middle of this month. “Nedbank can confirm that the pilot roll-out will commence by November 1 at its Sandton head campus,” says Brian Duguid, managing executive of Nedbank Integrated Channels.
Meanwhile, Mayihlome says consultations with ABSA are at an advanced stage and an announcement will be made soon.
The new service is currently on an ‘invite to apply’ basis only, and each bank involved will exclusively supply the service to its own employees.
“This public-private partnership is a clear demonstration of the success that can be achieved when business and government work together to find solutions. The most important factor for us as a bank is in knowing that our involvement in this takes away the angst from the customer; we step in to help through solutions, even when they may seem far removed from banking,” says FNB ceo, Jacques Celliers.
“Since the inception of the pilot project at the FNB Towers Branch in Johannesburg, we have processed and issued 750 Smart IDs. While the pilot continues at this branch, plans are under way to make the service available at additional sites across the country over the next few months,” adds Jacques.