Get your Smart ID card at Absa in less than 30 minutes

03 November 2017

Remember how it used to take hours of queuing and around 54 days to get your green bar-coded ID book? Those days are gone, as it will now take you less than 30 minutes in an Absa branch. Within 12 days, you can collect your Smart ID card.

Today, the Department of Home Affairs launched the eChannel, which will simplify booking your application for your Smart ID and passport. This is a pilot project, and we are gearing up capacity to ensure a smooth experience for all who apply.

The online application process for your Smart ID and passport is similar to SARS e-Filing – so it’s pretty user friendly. The Department of Home Affairs will install offices within Absa, facilitating efficient and more secure ways of servicing South Africans. An official from Home Affairs will operate within an Absa branch, which means you can deposit cash and collect your ID Card all in one go.

The project is currently being piloted at three branches (Absa Towers North, Absa Centurion Lifestyle, and Ghandi Square), and during the pilot phase, only people aged between 30 to 35 can apply.

The Department of Home Affairs has a mammoth logistical task at hand, as there are over 32 million green bar-coded IDs that need to be converted to Smart IDs – and this number is growing at 1 million per year.

Different age groups will get different timings, so keep your eyes and ears open. This rollout is planned to iron out any kinks in the process, so don’t miss your chance. You can also renew your passport using the same process. Lost your ID? Don’t stress – you could do that too.  It’s all about creating a better experience for South Africans.

What do you need?

As opposed to queuing for hours, you can now schedule your appointment online, and you will be assisted in a branch within that 30-minute time slot. When logging on to the e-Channel, you’ll need to create an account and fill out the application form. After you’ve completed the application form and submitted the necessary documentation, you’ll receive a text confirming your booking.


What happens when you’ve booked? You’ll need a print out of your confirmation of booking, your green ID and a debit/credit card to make your payment as no cash is accepted. It’s a digital process, so we’re saving paper as we go. Your fingerprints will be captured via a biometric system and your picture will be taken in the branch – so no need to scramble to get ID shots before coming through for your appointment.

Security features help to prevent ID fraud

Besides the fact that the Smart ID fits neatly into the card slot of your wallet, its built-in security features make it hard to fraudulently replicate.

Gerret Oosthuizen, COO of Distribution at Absa’s Retail and International Banking, went through the process himself, “The ability to use the e-Channel is mind blowing. It’s really a first-world experience.”

We’re glad that we can help government to simplify your life – and if we could make it any simpler, please let us know in the comments, or on Twitter. We look forward to hearing from you!


Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.