Online banking just got easier

Online banking has taken off in recent years, but until now an inconvenient off-line feature has impeded its growth – consumers still had to lodge a signed paper application by post or fax.

That impediment now looks set to become a thing of the past. A firm called FCS Online has developed an electronic identity verification process that replaces the humble signature with checks on personal information ranging from birth date to passport and visa details.

The process has already been adopted by one bank with an online focus, ING Direct, in the hope of cutting back on the number of customers who express interest in an account but don’t meet the paper requirements, which reportedly could be as high as 40%.

The shift to online verification has partly been made possible by legislative changes that were introduced late last year that changed the security focus away from the traditional 100-point paper check to electronic verification.


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