Fotopod – A case for disruption in the Digital Identity Photo market?

For decades, we have been asked to stick identity photos onto application forms – Driver’s license, Visa forms, ID cards, School applications, Bank applications – you name it. Wherever you went, you carried with you your avatar on paper – torn, outdated, pixelated. And when you needed it for a digital form, you scurry around for a scanner to scan, crop and upload it to the correct size. Sounds so 19th century. The pain points for citizens couldn’t be clearer, yet we have put up with this for so long. And the longevity has given a high pain threshold for private and public institutions mandating these identity photographs. Even though the rule “recentness” and “true likeness” in ID photos are violated pretty much all the time – for instance, you can open a Bank account with a paper photograph in your possession taken 10 years ago – the institutions are not penalised.

fotopod Image 1Source: Tim Whyatt |

So what does it take to change this or rather make the wrong right? Not a lot really but a bit of brain-racking of course – God this is the next best idea to internal combustion engine, disruption and of course sheer joy comes to mind! – Like we came up with fotopod to solve this problem.

Here’s how it works: you walk up to a fotopod accredited studio and have your photo taken as usual. And here’s where the key difference is. Instead of printing a set of identity photographs, the studio partner will use our mobile App to upload your photo to our secure fotopod cloud. Our app will ensure that the photograph complies with a set of standards and specifications. You will receive a fotopod code via SMS instantly. And that’s that.

Here’s where it gets interesting. If you now need to use an identity photograph on an application (e.g. new Bank Application, Driver’s License, School or University Application) just enter the fotopod code that we sent you. A high quality identity photo of yours will be downloaded instantly into the application. And what’s more, the photo will be of the exact size needed by the service provider. Isn’t that better than all the scanning, cropping and uploading of an outdated photograph.

fotopod - OverviewCamera to Cloud to application – seamless and paperless solution.

So what’s in it for the public and private service provider? Firstly, fotopod guarantees that the photo will be of a standard specification so the chances of rejecting an application based on a non-standard photograph is totally negated. Secondly, the recentness and true likeness of the person is guaranteed as the fotopod code has an expiry period and can never be used beyond that period.

So why should we even think about fotopod when things are just perfect? Well, as a starter, we will be saving millions of trees converting to photo paper (a billion identity photographs are printed each month) and save tons of carbon emissions from printers and toners as all of the identity photos will be digital – at source, persistence and at use. The traditional studio business of having a premise, expensive printers, toners, print papers and air conditioning will be replaced by fotopod entrepreneurs who can set this up virtually anywhere with no more than a decent camera and our mobile App. Now, isn’t saving our planet a good enough idea?

Check us out at and keep watching this space as we begin to roll this out worldwide. If you are a studio chain or a budding photographer looking to set something up on your own, contact us today to see how you can benefit from fotopod. If you are a Public or Private institution, talk to us to integrate fotopod into your digital services to accept high quality digital ID photos from your consumers.

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