RealMe: Verified Identity Service

By John Keene, RealMe expert

In July 2013, the government launched RealMe to help Kiwis access online services (eg, student loans and allowances, MyIR) with one username and password (using second factor authentication where needed) and securely prove who they are online.

In 2018, RealMe became the first government service in New Zealand to reach the gold standard for trust and privacy when it gained a Privacy Trust Mark from The Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

At the time, Privacy Commissioner John Edwards said:

“RealMe’s data minimisation and user control practices are excellent. Users can control when and where their identity information is shared and can review all of their transactions and revoke their consent at their discretion. RealMe also only collects and stores information that is required to administer the core service.”

Since then, the RealMe verified identity service has been accepted by AML/CFT supervising agencies, including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Financial Markets Authority, as a robust identity verification tool for meeting the requirements of the AML/CFT law.

Today, more than 900,000 Kiwis use RealMe to securely prove who they are online. Meanwhile, dozens of businesses and organisations have integrated RealMe into their online service or website to help their customers login and prove who they are online. Examples include MSD, Waka Kotahi, Electoral Commission, Westpac, BNZ, ANZ and Kiwibank.

John Keene
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.