South Africans can ease the process of getting a Smart ID card or passport by applying for it at one of 26 bank branches across the country.

The plastic Smart ID is replacing the conventional paper ID booklet and offers several technological advantages over its predecessor.

This includes built-in public key infrastructure (PKI), as well as the on-chip storage of biometric data, which means fingerprints can be matched to the card offline.

This has various uses – including to unlock a digital certificate (also secured on the card) – which may be used to digitally sign transactions.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has collaborated with several of South Africa’s major banks in order to speed up the rollout of these Smart IDs.

The added benefit is that those interested in getting a Smart ID card or passport can avoid the infamously long queues at DHA offices, which have to deal with a wide variety of other services in addition to ID and passport applications.

While applications for and collections of IDs and passports have been suspended as part of lockdown measures, there have been calls to reinstate the service from several organisations – including the Democratic Alliance.

Advocates for the reopening of the service argue that it carries a low risk of contact between persons, mainly because a large part of the process is completed online.

In broad terms, the process includes the following three steps:

  • Fill out an online application form on the eHome DHA portal.
  • Visit the particular bank branch for biometrics and photos.
  • Collect the Smart ID card or passport after 14 working days or when notified that it is ready.

Confirmed branches

All of the country’s biggest banks – with the exception of Capitec – offer this service at a number of their branches.

While Absa, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank have had multiple branches supporting this service for several years, Discovery Bank and Investec Bank now also have one branch each.

The table below shows all of the bank branches where you will be able to apply for and collect a Smart ID or passport once the lockdown ban on the service is lifted.

Branch City Address
Absa
Absa Centurion Lifestyle Centre Centurion Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Ave
Absa Sandton City Johannesburg Cnr Rivonia Road and 5th Street, Sandton
Absa Towers Johannesburg 160 Main Street, Johannesburg
Absa Greenacres Port Elizabeth Greenacres Shopping Centre, 1 Ring Rd
Absa Key West Krugersdorp Shop 80, Key West Shopping Centre, c/o Paardekraal Drive and Viljoen Street
Discovery Bank
Discovery Bank Sandton Johannesburg 1 Discovery Place, c/o Rivonia Road & Katherine Street, Sandton
FNB
FNB Burgersfort Burgersfort Dirk Winterbach Street, Burgersfort, Limpopo
FNB Centurion Lifestyle Centurion Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Ave
FNB Lynnwood Pretoria Shop 4, upper level, Cnr Simon Vermooten & Lynnwood Road, Equestria
FNB Merchant Place Johannesburg 4 Merchant Place, Cnr Rivonia Road and Fredman Drive
FNB Portside Cape Town Portside, 5 Buitengracht St
Investec Bank
Investec Bank Sandton Johannesburg 100 Grayston Drive, Sandown
Nedbank
Nedbank Arcadia Pretoria C/o Steve Biko and Madiba Street
Nedbank Sandown Johannesburg 135 Rivonia Road
Nedbank Lakeview Campus Johannesburg 18 Constantia Boulevard
Nedbank St. George’s Mall Cape Town C/o Waterkant Road and St. George’s Mall
Nedbank The Crossing Nelspruit C/o Madiba & Samora Machel Drives, Nelspruit
Standard Bank
Standard Bank Centurion Centurion C/o Hendrick Verwoerd and South Street
Standard Bank Killarney, Rosebank Johannesburg Killarney Mall, 60 Riviera Road
Standard Bank Simmonds Johannesburg 5 Simmonds Street
Standard Bank Canal Walk Cape Town Shop 599LL, Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century City Dr
Standard Bank Jubilee Mall Hammanskraal C/o Jubilee Road D154 and Harry Gwala Road D2757
Standard Bank Kathu Kathu Hendrik Van Eck Street, Shop 62, Village Walk Shopping Centre
Standard Bank Kingsmead Durban 1 Standard Bank Centre, Kingsmead Way, Stamford Hill
Standard Bank Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth 1 Pickering Street, Newton Park
Standard Bank Promenade Mall Cape Town C/o AZ Berman Road And Morgenster Road, Shop 73-75 Liberty Promenade

Highly popular service

MyBroadband asked the involved banks how their customers have responded to the service, and if they were planning to add any more branches to offer it in the year ahead.

FNB Points of Presence CEO Lee-Anne van Zyl said that the service reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to add meaningful value to the lives of its customers.

“To date, we have issued over 251,000 Smart ID cards and passports to our retail and commercial customers since the inception of the partnership with DHA,” Van Zyl said.

Van Zyl said that three additional FNB branches were in the pipeline to offer the service during the course of 2021.

“We are currently in the processes of finalising the rollout plan with Home Affairs,” she stated.

Nedbank has also described the process as “extremely popular” and said that uptake continued to grow amongst its clients.

“Based on the feedback received, clients have expressed their excitement and are very positive, particularly regarding the convenience of the service,” Nedbank said.

The bank said two more pilot sites will be launched in 2021, while additional locations will be dependent on the DHA finalising and signing contracts with participating banks.

Upcoming branches

The table below shows the branches where Smart ID and passport services are set to be rolled out.

The Absa branches shown were previously scheduled to go online in 2020, but the bank has not provided an update on their status.

The three FNB and two Nedbank branches are set to be rolled out in 2021.

Branch City Address
Absa
Absa Claremont* Cape Town Absa on Grove, 11 Grove Ave
Absa Fourways* Johannesburg Fourways View, c/o Witkoppen and Cedar Roads
Absa Menlyn Maine* Pretoria 181 Bancor Avenue
Absa Pinetown* Durban 1 Church Ln, New Germany, Pinetown
Absa Randburg* Johannesburg Shop L65, Ferndale on Republic, Republic Road
Absa Rosebank* Johannesburg 21 Cradock Ave
Absa Stellenbosch* Stellenbosch Oude Bloemhof Building, c/o Plein and Ryneveld Streets
Absa Waterfall Mall* Rustenburg 1 Augrabies Ave, Cashan
Absa Woodlands* Pretoria Shop 6 Woodlands Boulevard, c/o Garsfontein Road and De Villebois Drive
FNB
FNB Century City** Cape Town Shop 171, Canal Walk, 139 Century Boulevard Street
FNB Cornubia** Durban Shop U76, Cornubia Mall, Flanders & Tacoma Drives, Blackburn Estate, Mount Edgecombe
FNB The Glen** Johannesburg Shop U2, c/o Orpen & Letaba Rd, The Glen Shopping Centre, Gleneagles,
Nedbank
Nedbank Durban North** Durban c/o Broadway & St Andrews Drive, Durban North
Nedbank North Cape Mall** Kimberley Memorial Road, Royldene
* Scheduled for 2020 

**Scheduled for 2021

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