Banks to allow remote account opening with video ID

SEB's main offices in Tallinn. (Siim Lõvi/ERR)
11/1/2016 5:01 PM
Category: Business

All bigger banks operating in Estonia will allow for bank accounts to be opened using video conferencing as a means of identification in the future in a step that will provide an important opportunity for the country's e-residents.

A regulation from the Minister of Finance entered into force on Monday which sets the rules regarding how and which operations can be performed by banks using video ID to confirm customers' identity, reported ETV's news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera."

Swedbank, LHV and Nordea confirmed that now that the rules and regulations are known, they can continue on with more specific development activities.

SEB business clients could open bank accounts using video ID on Monday already, however private clients must still wait their turn to take advantage of the new service. The bank found it unlikely that customers would begin using the service en masse, however in the future this would become a very important channel of communication, and not just for opening accounts.

 "Most of the system is ready on our side and we would be ready today to offer certain services to both businesses and private clients alike, particularly consulting services," explained SEB Retail Banking and Technology Director Ainar Leppänen, adding that it would still take a bit of time, however, until the system as a whole reached full functionaity.

"Private clients will likely be able to begin opening their accounts remotely in the future," said Leppänen. "If they are correctly identified, then in the future they will likely be provided with multiple consulting services in the future. If the service has already reached that far, then they will likely be given the opportunity to sign contracts remotely, but that would be in the slightly more distant future."

According to Ulla Ilisson, director of Swedbank's Customer Service Division, the bank's current first priority is providing the service to Estonia's e-residents.

"In the first stage we can see that as this was primarily initiated by the government in order to enable e-residents to open accounts, we have made the meeting of the needs of that client base our priority," explained Ilisson. "But we will definitely also continue on to Estonian residents."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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