Australia Post will don its reseller cap as it does the rounds with digital certificate authentication under an agreement signed with security specialist eSign.
As an accredited Certification Authority (CA) under the Federal Government's Gatekeeper strategy, eSign is one of a handful of companies that can issue digital Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates. PKI certificates are required by organisations and individuals to conduct online transactions with government agencies.
Australia Post will act as a Gatekeeper Accredited Registration Authority Service for eSign, providing face-to-face verification of an individual's identity when they apply for a digital certificate. eSign and Australia Post claim the service, to be known as KeyPOST, will make the application process for digital certificates - such as the Australian Business Number Digital Signing Certificate (ABN-DSC) - easier for individuals and companies. The ABN-DSC enables organisations to use their ABN as their digital identity when dealing with different government agencies, rather than having to use a separate certificate for each transaction.
"We already provide the face-to-face authentication for things like passports and [some] bank account applications so it's a good fit for our business," said Roger Lee, manager of authentication services for Australia Post. "By leveraging our trusted third party status and our extensive network of retail outlets, Australia Post can provide Australians with convenient access to digital certificates."
Initially the service will be offered in select Australia Post outlets in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne with the view to go national by next year.
Applicants are required to download the digital certificate forms from eSign's Web site and take them with appropriate identification to an authorised KeyPOST outlet where they are verified and sent to eSign for processing.
Australia Post will extract a commission from the sale of the certificates.