The Post Office is planning to implement identity assurance services across its online, telephony and face-to-face channels, throughout its UK branch network, in a project that will cost approximately £9m. 

An online contract notice indicates that the Post Office is looking at both managed services hosted by a provider and off the shelf solutions, which will include systems and software supporting SAML 2.0 tokens that can deliver single sign on into Post Office systems. 

SAML 2.0 is an XML based protocol that uses security tokens containing information about a customer, which can then be used to authorise identity. 

The tender also states that mobile integration will be required so that mobile devices can be used for authentication and payment transactions. 

The web channel will also have to interface with government infrastructure, as well as the Post Office’s electronic point of sale and billing systems, using interfaces that will be specified by the Post Office at a later date. 

Suppliers that are interested in participating in the procurement have until the 12th March to submit their tenders. 

The Post Office submitted a separate contract notice at the beginning of this month for a two year framework, worth between £24m and £180m, for the design, delivery and support of its IT services. 

The Post Office’s current IT system, dubbed Horizon, and built by Fujitsu, failed during the busy Christmas period on two separate occasions, leaving tens of thousands of customers queuing in branches.