Get your smart ID card from FNB, Standard Bank

Johannesburg – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba today officially launched a pilot project which will see two major banks, First National Bank and Standard Bank, issuing smart ID cards.

Nedbank has also signed an agreement with the department to allow customers to apply for and collect the smart ID cards which replace the green bar-coded ID and have better security features making them difficult to forge.

The two banks kick started the project by allowing their employees to apply for the smart ID cards before allowing members of the public to apply for their new IDs as well as passports.

To date, more than 2 000 smart ID cards have been issued for both FNB and Standard Bank employees.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Gigaba said discussions were underway with other banks to get involved in the project.

The partnership between the banks and Home Affairs seeks to ensure convenient access to the application process by bank’s clients.

It will also accelerate the replacement of the green bar-coded ID book. The department, which announced the introduction of the smart ID cards in 2013, plans to replace about 38 million green IDs in five years’ time.

FNB Chief Executive Officer Jacques Celliers, who received his new smart ID card at the bank’s Bank City branch from the Minister, said he was excited that he did not have to go to a Home Affairs office to apply for his new ID.

“I’m extremely excited that I applied for mine here and it was issued right here today,” he said.

Celliers told SAnews the bank would monitor the project and see how it is working. “If we are satisfied with the progress, the idea is to have [the project] rolled out to our other branches.”

According to FNB, more than 800 applications were received last month from bank employees and about 750 smart ID cards were issued to employees.

Sbongiseni Nquze from Standard Bank said the bank was proud and committed to issuing the smart ID cards.

Matuma Petunia Langa, a Standard Bank employee, used the launch as an opportunity to apply for her smart ID card and her passport.

She told SAnews that the application process was exciting and far less time consuming than going to a Home Affairs branch.

“The process took less time than I expected and I am now going back to my work station to continue with my work,” she said with a smile.

In his Budget Vote speech in May earlier year, Minister Gigaba announced the intention to collaborate with major banks to provide an alternative channel to serve clients, expanding Home Affairs’ footprint and reducing queues at front-line offices.

Minister Gigaba, accompanied by FNB and Standard Bank officials, also inspected the facilities where the applications will be made. He was satisfied at the state of readiness of the facilities.