Nine Things You Should Know About RealMe

By John Keen, RealMe®


Every day I meet people who’ve heard about RealMe®, but don’t know enough about its benefits. The fact is, it’s the easiest and most secure way to prove your identity online. I’d encourage you to encourage your clients to apply for a RealMe® verified identity sooner rather than later. So much of our lives are carried out online. It’s vital we can all prove who we are safely and securely, while protecting our personal data at the same time. Need to know more? Here’s a few key facts about RealMe®.


RealMe Explained

  1. In 2013, RealMe® was launched by the Department of Internal Affairs to help Kiwis access online government services with one username and password and securely prove who they are online. (It’s one of the ways the Department ensures people can easily access the services and information they need).

  2. As a service, it continuously changes and improves to meet the demands of New Zealand’s ever-changing identity landscape.

  3. Recently, the RealMe® verified identity service was accepted by the AML/CFT supervising agencies as a robust identity verification tool that meets the requirements of the AML/ CFT law.

  4. It takes just minutes for someone to apply for a RealMe® verified online identity. (In the past, applicants had to go to a New Zealand Post or AA store to complete the process. That changed in 2019 with the advancement of biometric technology. Now the entire RealMe® application process can be completed online using liveness and biometric technology).

  5. RealMe® can help reduce risk by removing the need for you to store and protect sensitive personal information and client records such as passports or driver’s licenses

  6. The service was designed to protect people’s privacy and is the only digital identity service that allows Kiwis to prove their identity online knowing their information won’t be shared beyond the intended recipient without consent and will only be used for the purpose it was intended.

  7. RealMe® stores no personal data. It is an identity broker. RealMe® doesn’t rely on a central data repository. Instead, it draws on existing information stored by an authoritative source and pulls that information from the source in real time with the individual’s consent.

  8. Today, more than 900,000 Kiwis use RealMe® to securely prove who they are online.

  9. The number of businesses and organisations integrating RealMe® into their online service or website to help customers login and prove who they are online is growing every day.

John Keene, RealMe®
John Keene, RealMe® expert

For more on how technology can help with AML processes take a look at 'simplifying AML compliance through open banking' with Josh Daniell from Akahu.