NatWest becomes ‘first’ bank to let users open an account with a selfie – so you don’t have to go in branch – The Sun

NatWest becomes ‘first’ bank to let users open an account with a selfie – so you don’t have to go in branch – The Sun


NATWEST says it's the first high street bank to use artificial intelligence to allow customers to open an account using a selfie – so you don't even have to go in branch.

It could mean opening an account takes as little as four minutes.

New customers simply download the NatWest app, take a picture of their ID documents, such as passport or driving licence, and upload them.

You also need to take a picture that proves your address, such as a utility bill or bank statement.

Then for authentication, you'll verify this with a selfie – which you can take with a smartphone or webcam.

Real-time biometric checks will then confirm their selfie matches the image in your photographic ID.

This removes the need to provide ID documents either by post or in branch.

You can't use an old picture though – the selfie has to be taken within the app when you make the application, which should also reduce the risk of someone else trying to steal your ID.

But you can choose to start, pause and return to your application if you don't have certain documents to hand.

You can also access the application from different devices.

NatWest has already tested the new procedure on over 60,000 customers and says cases of fraud dropped significantly during the trial period.

It will be rolled out to Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster customers, which are also part of the RBS Group alongside NatWest, in future – although NatWest couldn't give an exact date.

In other banking news, Virgin Money has rolled out a top balance transfer card and if you're accept then you're guaranteed an interest-free period of 29 months.

Meanwhile, millions of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank customers move to Virgin Money – here's what it means.

Plus, Coventry Building Society is axing overdrafts for 15,500 customers – and ditching debit cards.

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