NEWS: NatWest current accounts can now be opened with a selfie

NatWest is the first high street bank to enable customers to open an account in minutes using a selfie and photo ID to verify who they are.

Using state of the art AI, real-time biometric checks confirm their selfie matches the image in their photographic ID and ID documents are authenticated preventing fraudulent applications and removing the need to provide ID documents either by post or in branch.

Frans Woelders, Chief Digital Officer at NatWest, said: “We know customers want to be able to open accounts at a time and a place that suits them and not have to worry about precious ID documents going missing in the post, or taking time out of their day to go to a branch. That’s why we’re making it easier, safer and faster to open and access accounts, allowing customers to get on with the things that matter.”

Some customers have completed their ID verification in just four minutes; however customers can start, pause and come back to their application if they don’t have the correct documents, such as passports or bank statements to hand. They can also access the application from different devices.

The application accepts international ID documents making it accessible for UK residents from diverse nationalities.

The process is delivered through a partnership with leading ID verification fintech, HooYu, and has been successfully piloted with over 60,000 customers so far, with fraudulent applications dropping significantly during that time. It also records the location of the application, allowing additional fraud checks to be put in place if necessary.

David Pope, Marketing Director at HooYu said: “In today’s digital age, customers expect to be able to do everything on-demand, they don’t want to have to go into a branch or wait for a day or two for account opening to be completed. Our work with NatWest balances the twin demands of compliance and convenience. Our unique identity platform that combines many forms of identity verification technology is designed not only to bring extra security into the account opening process but also to make customer on-boarding simpler and quicker”