NatWest enables selfie authentication via HooYu

British bank NatWest has partnered with identity verification specialists HooYu to enable customers to open a banking account using selfie and photo ID to verify who they are.

Through the use of AI and real-time biometric checks, HooYu can confirm a match between the photographic ID and ID documents.

Giving customers the ability to post a photo for authentication is expected to drastically cut onboarding times as previously a person would have to physically provide the documents.

Frans Woelders, chief digital officer, NatWest, explained: “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.”

Natwest explained that some customers would be able to complete their verification within four minutes and the process has been developed so that customers can start, pause and return to their application if they don’t have the correct documents to hand.

The application also accepts international ID documents enabling those living in the UK from different countries.

Furthermore the location(s) of where the application took place is recorded to allow additional fraud checks to be put in place if necessary.

HooYu has already successfully piloted over 60,000 customers so far and Natwest said that fraudulent applications have already “significantly” dropped during that time.

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.”