Smart IDs to be available at your local bank

By Staff Writer
On Wednesday, 30 September the Department of Home Affairs announced the launch of the Smart ID pilot project. Minister Malusi Gigaba explained that the partnership between the department and the national banks was to ensure convenience and better turnaround times in the Smart ID application process.

According to the department, Gigaba announced, during his budget speech on the 6 May earlier this year, the intention to collaborate with major banks in providing a different medium to assist clients by minimizing queues at ‘front-line offices’ and inevitably growing the department’s footprint.

The pilot project will see the smart card IDs being made available to all bank staff initially, to test the efficiency of the process.

“As part of the department's Modernization Programme, Home Affairs continues to come up with innovative ways to expand its footprint. The collaboration with the banks forms part of these exciting initiatives,” said Home Affairs spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete.
 
What is a Smart card ID?

July 2013 saw the introduction of these new ID cards that are meant to replace the current green bar-coded identity documents. The new ID cards are said to be extremely difficult to forge as they boast better security features than the old ID documents, highlighted the department.

Banks involved
 
The department has reportedly partnered with all the major South African banks, namely Nedbank, Standard bank, First National Bank (FNB) and more recently Absa.
 
“The service will be available at selected FNB branches and we will confirm these details in due course. We will continue to expand our number of Smart ID delivery branches into the future,” said FNB head of points of presence, Lee-Anne van Zyl.

While an Absa spokesperson went on to say, “Absa can confirm that we have signed the Memorandum of Understanding to participate in the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) roll-out of Smart ID Cards. We await the commencement date of the bank staff pilot phase from the DHA. Smart ID services through our branches will open to the public once the pilot has concluded.”

Communications manager for Nedbank, Tshegofatso Selahle, further stressed that this initiative was only for the replacement of the green barcoded ID’s and does not include the service of applying for a new ID, for the first time.

Standard bank was given the opportunity to comment but hadn’t yet done so at the time of publication.

When will this be available?

The card ID’s will be made available “on completion of the pilot at the end of November and based on the results obtained, roll out nationally will commence,” said van Zyl.

Education Minister, Naledi Pandor, remarked that the plan is to issue the smartcard ID to all South Africans over 18 years of age and to phase out the existing green ID book, and to start doing so by the end of this year.

How much does a Smart ID cost?
 
Despite the upgrade, the cost of your ID will remain the same.
 
“There is no additional fee to that normally charged by Home Affairs. ID’s are currently R140,” expressed van Zyl.
 
According to a report everyone trading in their ID book will, however, also have to pay the fee of R140.
 
Application process
 
Once the process is extended to the general public, the application will go through an electronic system known as the e-channel. Clients will be able to log onto the Home Affairs website, book an appointment, pay a prescribed fee and walk into the bank for photographs and biometrics, explained Tshwete.
 
He went further to say that once they were satisfied with the system, a massive roll out will commence, and they will announce other processes such as the passport application.
 
“The DHA have confirmed that it will take approximately 10 days for the card to be issued from the date of application,” revealed Selahle.

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