Do you dread standing in the long queues at your local home affairs office? The good news is that if you’re applying for your new smart ID card and you’re a customer of FNB, Standard Bank or Nedbank, then you can skip the home affairs visit and head straight to your local banking branch.


FNB and Standard Bank have been piloting the project with staff at their Simmonds Street branches in Johannesburg over the past two months. Nedbank will be next, with plans to start the pilot at their Sandton head office in October. Hopefully the other banks will follow soon.

The next phase of the project will see each of the participating banks selecting two branches to start taking customer applications in November 2015. Customers will be able to apply through the new eChannel online portal, make payment and then complete their application at the bank (photographs and fingerprints).

If all goes according to plan, this process will be rolled out to banking branches across the country for all customers, in early 2016.

The pricing for the new smart ID card is the same as the old green ID book:

  • first issue of ID is free
  • re-issue costs R140

If you have an old ID book and you’re applying for your first smart ID, this will cost you R140. It’s only free for people applying for an ID of any sort for the first time.

A few years ago I complimented Wynberg home affairs on their efficient service. Lately, things have been looking a bit strained over there with new smart ID applications adding to the workload. With the banks on board, I think we’re all hoping that the queues at home affairs will be a little easier to deal with.

It’s nice to see some form of online application in the process. Technology is there to be used and also means less paperwork. Enough said!