AusPost wants its digital platforms to become 'national infrastructure'

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AusPost wants its digital platforms to become 'national infrastructure'

Identity, payments the way forward.

Australia Post is banking on a future where its new identity and payments platforms become pieces of national infrastructure much like its traditional postal offerings.

Chief digital officer and head of trusted e-commerce services Andrew Walduck told iTnews the organisation was building four key platforms it hoped would operate as national technological infrastructure.

"We have one in deliveries, and one in retail with our fabulous post offices," he said on the sidelines of the Amazon Web Services Public Sector Summit last week.

"Now we’re adding two pieces of national digital infrastructure, both of which we have a great aspiration to go and scale, but these are more in the formative stage and we’re now building the opportunity that exists for them."

The government-owned corporation has spent the best part of the last ten years reimagining itself as a digital business and developing digital solutions to bridge the gap left by a decline in its traditional mail and retail business.

Its MyPost Digital MailBox service, which was recently revamped, was one of the first of its digital initiatives to gain traction, and is now being used by 4.1 million Australians, according to AusPost's annual report.

But it has only been in the last two years – since the creation of its dedicated e-commerce unit, led by Walduck – that it has begun to see the rewards of its work. 

AusPost's most recent foray into the digital domain is its payments platform, known as AlphaCommerceHub, which has been developed in partnership with AlphaPaymentsCloud to "help to transform how organisations want to provide services at the point of payment," Walduck said.

"What this platform looks to do is, in addition to the payment, is add other services such as identity, fraud, loyalty, delivery preferences and shipping preferences, and make it fundamentally easier for retailers or merchants to then evolve the experience that they provide to their customers."

He said businesses could use AlphaCommerceHub as a platform to help perform assured payments, and "switch on and off services" as required without expensive integration and ongoing associated maintenance issues.

"Our ability to add payments with identity and fraud services gives businesses a better ability to be confident that as they are transacting with customers they are doing so in a way that is reducing the rate of fraud, and is providing a better quality service to their customers," Walduck said.

Digital ID

AusPost's other current platform of focus is the Digital ID identity verification service, which it has been developing since 2016.

The service offers users the ability to prove who they are online when applying for things like a bank account or accessing government services.

Credit Union Australia and the Queensland Police Service are some of the first customers to take up the Digital ID service. It has also been integrated into the MyPost Parcel Collection and mail redirection service.

AusPost has also partnered with the Digital Transformation Agency to tack Digital ID onto the whole-of-government GovPass digital identity platform.

"We’re working with them to provide a demonstration of how Digital ID can be used to both help improve access to government services, and also help in the evolution of the important policy work that needs to be done that helps to shape what will be such an important piece of infrastructure moving forward," he said.

AusPost is hoping Digital ID will go a long way to cementing its ability to deliver long-held services on behalf of government, such as its passport application services deal with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which was recently extended while the agency considers alternative options.

Walduck said Auspost was also in discussion with the other state governments about ways Digital ID could be implemented.

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