In the past month, I have registered 4 businesses in NZ and AU and none of them sent the postcard for verification. Instead, it asked for verification via email (business domain) and they all worked. All of those businesses are live.

I think Google is no longer sending postcards. I am glad they don't as those took two weeks (NZ) and about a month in (AU) to arrive.

Previously phone and email verification were possible for existing listings only.