Are digital IDs the future of cross-border banking?

With initiatives such as open banking and PSD2 seeking to break down barriers and promote diversity in the financial services industry, one trend that could become increasingly significant over the coming years is cross-border banking.

This concept recently took a big step forward with the launch of the first pilot testing how digital identities could be used for banking across borders.

A consortium consisting of private and public sector organizations including HSBC, Barclays and the Open Identity Exchange is leading the project, which will examine how a citizen’s national digital identity from France could be used to open a bank account in the UK.

The work will be based on a set of official electronic identity and signature (eIDAS) standards for identification and transactions in the European single market, which were developed for the public sector. The pilot will test how they could be transferred into the private sector.

Using the Mobile Connect authentication process, the pilot will allow users to request a digital ID that is validated via eIDAS.

The consortium will also focus on the necessary service design, infrastructure and operational framework required to deliver a secure and efficient account opening process for EU citizens.

Discussing the current international account opening process, Trista Sun, HSBC global head of international and cross-border banking, said: “Customers often have to produce a separate set of identification paperwork when they open a bank account in a new country. The use of recognized, trusted digital IDs across borders will revolutionize this process.”

Jessica Westerouen van Meeteren of biometrics and digital identity firm OT-Morpho said it will become increasingly common for consumers to identify themselves digitally, mainly using smartphones and tablets.

“There is a huge need for technologies to enable remote authentication solutions that are fast, simple and safe,” she added.

Image credit: iStock/monsitj

Written by Jack Dougal

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