As part of our continued investment in the network and drive to make transactions simpler for our branches and customers, Post Office is launching a new digital passport application service using Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 tablets from Monday 19 October 2020.
Building on our successful trial with 15 branches in December 2019, we plan to distribute tablets to around 750 branches – expanding our network of branches which offer digital passport applications. Starting this week (w/c Monday 5 October), we’re running a pilot of the new tablet-based passport application service in 12 branches.
We know there is the demand for tablet-based digital passport applications from our research*, which showed that:
- 83% of customers found the product appealing
- 75% of customers were likely to use it if available
- 72% of customers were likely to use it at the price point (the research used a £19 price point versus £16 actual Post Office fee).
Post Office’s Managing Director of Identity Services, Elinor Hull, said: “The tablet application has been designed to be as user friendly and intuitive as possible. All the branches currently offer the passport Check & Send service and we have looked to build on that expertise and experience as much as we can. All the participating branches were selected based on their current transaction volumes – but we will look to expand the tablet network based on the success of this initial deployment.”
How tablet passport applications work
Customers will be now be able to complete any passport application using the new tablet, wherever is most suitable in participating branches. This is an all-in-one product offering, including photo, application and postage, with assistance in branch. Tablet passport applications cost £91.50 (HMPO fee + Post Office fee) – the same price as AEI and cheaper than paper Check & Send.
The customer will complete their online application, including an online payment to the passport office, on the tablet. The customer will then pay Post Office £16 on the Horizon till. Supporting documents will be submitted the same way as for Paper Check & Send. As part of the new service, members of the branch team will always be responsible for capturing the customer’s photo (using tablet or through photo booth), making sure they submit the correct documentation and taking payment from them.
Tablet-based passport applications have the following key benefits:
- The service is available to all passport application types (AEI can only do adult renewal applications)
- The small footprint of the tablet makes it a more flexible solution for Postmasters
- The digital applications can be processed more efficiently, and customers will be able to track their application’s progress.
Participating branches will receive the tablet and training materials for both the device and the passport application over the coming weeks and we expect all branches to go live by the end of October. Look out for further information in Branch Focus next week.
*Customer research: September 2019, Trinity McQueen – the research used a £19 price point versus £16 actual Post Office fee.