November 10, 2016 05:00 AM
The mobile banking revolution has taken another step forward in Europe, with BBVA becoming the first financial institution in Spain to offer mobile account opening.
Customers get the process underway by visiting the bank’s website or downloading the app, before identifying themselves and providing some personal information. They will be asked to supply a photo ID and a selfie, which the bank will compare against one another using a biometric recognition process.
A BBVA representative then completes the customer verification via a video call.
European law mandates that individuals must confirm their identity before opening a bank account. Spanish banks have traditionally done this by either physically verifying the customer’s identity at a branch, sending a messenger to the person’s address or checking information against an existing account at another bank.
This new method of identifying customers by video call was recently authorized by Spain’s bank regulator.
Cristina de Parias, head of BBVA Spain, said: “Starting today you can open an account at BBVA more easily and quickly. The bank has designed a new feature that allows you to open an account instantly via mobile and start taking advantage of all its services and products.
“We know our customers value their time and like to do everything through their cell phones. With this new solution, BBVA takes another step toward making people’s lives easier.”
This is just one of a number of recent developments that underline the growing importance of the mobile channel for banking and payments.
Mastercard and BMO will be rolling out fingerprint and ‘selfie payments’ in North America via the Identity Check Mobile service next year, while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has emphasized how valuable mobile banking can be for banks trying to reach under-served customers.