NSW digital photo card set to be rolled out

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Image: NSW government

The New South Wales government said following successful trials, the digital photo card will be rolled across the state in “coming months”.

As part of the trial, NSW photo card holders who live in certain postcodes in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains were able to sign up and use the digital version of their photo card as a form of identity at participating venues and businesses within the trial area. These included bottle shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, tobacco retailers, selected Service NSW centres, NSW Police, and local council.

The digital version is accessible via the Service NSW app, which the state government assured is hosted securely on the app and locked with a pin for “additional levels of security and protection against identity fraud, compared to the plastic digital photo card”.

Almost 20% of those eligible opted to use the digital version of the card, according to the state government.

“The digital photo card trial offers holders of a plastic photo card in the trial area the chance to use their mobile device to transact with businesses who check ID, such as pharmacies, major retailers, telcos, convenience stores, tobacco retailers and pharmacies,” Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello said.

See also: How Australia’s tech-savvy COVID-19 response is leaving CALD communities behind

Dominello said introducing the digital photo card is off the back of the popularity of the digital driver licence, where there are now 3.3 million NSW digital licence holders — or 60% of all state drivers. 

“The Service NSW app is fast becoming a one-stop shop for dealing with government — whether it’s checking in safely to a venue like a supermarket, storing trade licences or renewing rego — you can do it all in a few simple clicks,” he said.

The digital licence was launched in November 2019 and is also available through the Service NSW app.  

Dominello also revealed recently that he is working with the federal government to see how people’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate could be integrated with the Service NSW app.

“People need to show proof of vaccination before entering certain venues. However, imagine going into your local pub you would need to show for example: Service NSW app to check in, drivers licence (proof of age), Medicare for vaccination. This would not be a good customer experience,” he tweeted earlier this month.

Dominello confirmed pilots of the solution is expected to commence in the first half of next month. 

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