ASB Bank is making "selfie" ID a reality, launching a pilot programme for biometric facial recognition at six of its branches.

The new technology would allow the bank to confirm a customer's identity through a photo of themselves as well as a photo of eligible ID such as a driver's licence or passport.

The secure digital process would allow new customers to open an ASB bank account from anywhere in New Zealand in about 15 minutes and start making transactions the same day without needing to go into a branch.

A beta pilot of the app would be available at six of its South Auckland branches from early next month for an eight-week testing period.


Customers would be able to trial the beta app on in-branch iPhones before the full app is available for download later in the year.

ASB said identifying and verifying new bank account customers with biometrics was a first for a major New Zealand bank.

Currently, ASB customers can start the process to join ASB online, but must go to a branch in person with documents proving their identity and address.

ASB executive general manager retail Russell Jones said the biometric technology would allow more customers to join ASB quickly and easily.

"This is an exciting innovation, which certainly changes the way people can join ASB," Jones said.

"The ASB ID app will give people options to join ASB, and our team members will have more time to spend on helpful conversations with customers, rather than paper work and data entry."

The final ASB ID app would be available to customers within New Zealand who have joined ASB online, have eligible photo ID and a supported mobile phone.

The bank has worked with verification service provider VIX Verify to build the technology behind the ASB ID app.

VIX Verify New Zealand reseller Ross Hughson said biometrics was an efficient and safe solution which improved the customer experience.

Jones said the bank took its responsibility to protect customers and their businesses seriously.