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First Canadian bank introduces digital ID verification

Digital Identity is progressing in Canada, with a new bank account opening process backed by digital ID documents, biometrics, and a new digital identity mobile application for residents of the most crowded Canadian province, Ontario.

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RBC is the first Canadian bank to offer digital identity authentication services to customers opening a personal account in a branch for secure identity verification, fraud prevention, and smooth customer onboarding experience by scanning IDs or passports.

Peter Tilton, SVP, Digital at RBC stated, “As we make our clients’ everyday banking experience easier, we continue to be guided by the imperatives of trust and security. Verifying and protecting our clients’ identities is among the most important things we do,” He added, “The world-class technology underpinning these features will better protect clients from fraud caused by identity and document forgery and give them an unparalleled account opening experience.”

The RBC Mobile Application uses Artificial Intelligence technology to inspect government-based identification documents such as ID cards, driver’s licenses and passports, and Near-Field Communications (NFC) for analyzing ePassport use.

After the identity document is scanned through the mobile application, the customer data is registered in their account profile on an advisor’s computer, but RBC reassures customers that the information is used and protected in line with its strategy to guard personal information.

“Until now, our architecture limited our ability to quickly deliver the solutions our clients and advisors want,” continued Tilton. “A single digital platform gives us immense flexibility to reuse core capabilities that extend across the bank and design solutions with our clients and advisors in mind from the start. This means clients will enjoy a more consistent experience with RBC across our delivery channels.”

In the future, RBC plans on introducing a mobile account opening feature with live biometric selfies to verify identity against the identification documents on file. Since the introduction of advanced technologies for customer onboarding, RBC says it has increased the efficiency of the process to up to 70 percent because customers no longer waste time with data entry and document verification.

“We’ve spent the last two months piloting this in nearly 50 branches and the reaction from clients and advisors has been outstanding,” said Sean Amato-Gauci, EVP, Cards, Payments & Banking at RBC, in a prepared statement. “We are adding to the existing suite of digital identity solutions developed by the banking industry by providing clients with another option for securely verifying their identity with us.”

The new features are supported on both iOS and Android devices. They allow clients to have more control over their personal information and prevent them from disclosing more personal information than required. This option is already available in 100 branches in Canadian provinces Ontario and Quebec, but it will expand to more branches, channels, and partners this year. The processes are in line with Canada’s Know Your Client (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and privacy regulations.