Post Office (PO) is expanding its presence in the identity services market with the roll-out of online and in-branch products in a new partnership with digital identity firm, Yoti.

This includes a free-to use app that combines customers’ personal data and biometrics to create a secure, reusable ID on their phone, and in-branch services for those customers who don’t have access to a smartphone, or who prefer face-to-face contact when asked to confirm their identity.

A pilot, initially at around 750 stores will begin in July. Only last week the government revealed plans to make it easier for people to verify themselves using modern technology and create a process as trusted as using passports or bank statements.

The deal will also connect PO customers with online businesses, by enabling companies to use PO and Yoti identity verification services for fraud detection, E-signatures and customer authentication services, using secure biometric face matching and liveness detection.

PO’s chief executive, Nick Read said: “PO is embracing new technologies and this partnership will enhance our reputation as the trusted go-to destination for identity solutions. Whether it’s proving your identity on a smartphone or face-to-face with a Postmaster, we will make transactions faster and simpler than ever before.”

“I am delighted that PO and Yoti are joining forces to expand our identity services. We have an ambitious strategy to deliver a unique offer to the market that integrates digital and physical identity verification at scale benefitting both individuals and businesses.”

Yoti CEO, Robin Tombs added: “We have already invested over £85m creating a world-leading ID platform that removes the friction from outdated ID processes, puts individuals in control of their identity, preserves privacy and helps reduce identity fraud. Together with the PO, we will help drive the UK’s digital transformation, making life simpler and safer for individuals and businesses online, in-branch and on the high street.”