The New South Wales government has now made the first wave of its digital licences available through the new "My Licences" digital wallet in the latest version of the Service NSW app. Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet said the launch marked a leap in government technology, and has paved the way for digital driver licences to come into effect by 2019. "NSW is leading the nation in government technology, and the number one reason is that we are determined to offer the best services to make life easier for the people of NSW," Perrottet said. Within the updated Service NSW app, citizens can renew their licence and update their details without needing to visit a Service NSW centre. Perrottet initially announced that the state would begin the distribution of digital licences last November, and highlighted that each year in NSW, more than 23 million licences covering more than 750 different licence types are issued -- including 2.8 million plastic cards.
Driver's licence holders in New South Wales are now able to renew their licences online via their Service NSW digital account. Previously, all NSW driver's licences had to be renewed in person. The new service now allows those eligible to renew their licence for up to five years. If a customer's existing identification photograph is deemed acceptable, the new licence will be issued by post within 10 business days. Eligibility to renew online is also based on an individual's particular circumstances, with eye tests still being carried out in a Service NSW shopfront for those with vision impairment.
The New South Wales government has launched an integration with Google's Android Pay, allowing customers to use the digital platform to pay for government services at all Service NSW centres across the state. Currently, Android Pay is only available in shopfronts, with the state government confirming plans to make the platform available on Service NSW's digital stores, website, and app. "Around 90 percent of people now have a mobile phone, and with the popularity of Android phones, it makes sense for us to provide this quick, efficient option for our customers," NSW Minister for Finance, Services, and Property Dominic Perrottet said in a statement. Currently, Android Pay is only supported by American Express, Macquarie Bank, MyState, Teachers Mutual Bank, and ANZ, after the first of the big four banks launched its partnership with the Android wallet in July. At the time, Pali Bhat, Google senior director for product management, said there are plans to partner with more banks in Australia, including St George and Westpac.
The New South Wales government has injected AU 415 million into Service NSW, the state's one-stop shop for service delivery. The cash boost comprises AU 329 million in recurrent funding and AU 86 million capital to continue the rollout of the Service NSW customer service network which Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said will be with increased digital capability. The NSW government became the frontrunner in digitalising its services in July 2014, launching Service NSW to bring together a number of different state services under the one office, including RMS; Births, Deaths and Marriages; and small business support. As of February 2016, the Service NSW website showed that there were 95 shopfronts across the state. The 2016-17 funding injection includes AU 50 million to offer more agency transactions through the Service NSW network in a bid to see 70 percent of government transactions via digital channels by 2019.
"Whether they want that for every login or whether they want that for what we classify as high-risk transactions such as changing licence address -- renewing the licence we don't really care who pays us as it's an anonymous transaction -- so it's really those more sensitive transactions which could result in identity theft or the issuance of an invalid entitlement from a government perspective such as a firearms licence or a working with children check," he explained. The authentication platform will also underpin the state's digital licence platform, which will store digital versions of licences. "Obviously the authentication that you tie into that flow becomes very important as you start to introduce high-risk licences," Smith said. Launched in July 2014, Service NSW brought together a number of different NSW government services under the one office, including RMS; Births, Deaths and Marriages; and small business support. With the remit to be the one-stop-shop for state government interactions, combined with a mandate from government to bring 80 percent of transactions through a digital channel, Smith explained there is also one roadblock in pushing multi-factor across the entire service.