An Post takes next step in financial services push
AN POST, determined that Ireland needs what it calls "a new force in financial services", is pushing ahead with its drive into the world of online and face-to-face banking.
In March, An Post unveiled "An Post Money", a brand that includes personal loans, credit cards and current accounts.
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An Post chief executive David McRedmond said at the time that its move into financial services had helped the group deliver "great results".
Now, the postal service is seeking a provider for a digital identity verification system that would encourage customers, particularly younger consumers, to purchase its products online and in its physical outlets.
Its tender seeks potential suppliers or partners to help An Post design and launch a proprietary digital identity verification solution that will make it easier for customers to purchase financial products and services.
An Post also wants proposals for how to extend the use of that new system, with customer consent, for identity verification in "external customer journeys" - likely for use on websites such as those belonging to Amazon and charities.
"With the recovery from the financial crisis well advanced, and the shift towards digital services progressing at pace, we expect to see a new era of competition," An Post says in a message to potential bidders for the work.
"Distribution competition is expected to be crowded with fintech and tech giants, brand players, and comparison sites all competing for share as the era of open banking unfolds."
"We believe that in this rapidly changing competitive environment, supported by a strong economic backdrop in Ireland, the opportunity for a new force in financial services to address unmet customer needs is present - one that they know and trust, that has a national presence and can present innovative and reliable solutions to meet their everyday needs," the message says.
An Post's profits soared last year to €41m from €8.4m in 2017 as it shifts its focus to financial services and parcel delivery.
The company closed 151 post offices last year as traditional mail volumes continue to decline.