The move towards the "people's bank" on the IT front has begun, with New Zealand Post's issue of a request for information (RFI).
This is described by a source close to the project as being "as non-prescriptive as possible".
NZ Post spokesperson Simon Taylor confirms the deadline for RFI replies is July 28.
"We consider that gives [proposers] sufficient time," he says.
"We're seeking information on banking applications and services that are currently available, the banking expertise that is out there and how we might apply it."
Computerworld understands NZ Post has placed a notional deadline of December 31 on the development of the system - a deadline that our source acknowledges may be impossible to meet.
NZ Post is not expecting a detailed response to the RFI, he says. Within the short time scale, the company "appreciates it cannot place the load [of a detailed response] on [prospective bidders]".
It will be working with a completely clean sheet. Whether it will be an in-house or outsourced solution, whether a very basic or full-service banking system is still to be decided.
It already does agency banking, so it may be that a basic banking system can be provided with minimal expansion.
However, the current system is based on OS/2 PC terminals.
"There are still things that run on OS/2", the source says, so it may be that no change towards a more industry-standard system is necessary.
The request covers both front-end (customer facing) systems and back office systems.
It is understood about 50 replies have been received to an initial opportunity for "registration of interest" - though NZ Post will not confirm this figure.