identification is the future

In the future, you will be able to establish new customer relationships with banks without having to appear in person with your passport. A new mobile solution from DNB makes this possible, also for customers with other banks.

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Innovation expert Ronny Kahn from DnB has developed a solution for identification that does not require customers to appear in person at the bank.

Bank customers must currently go through an initial identification process based on a personal appearance with their passport. Due to increased efforts against money laundering, the European authorities are about to tighten regulations and introduce stricter identification requirements in the future, even for simple financial services. 

“In a world where many banks no longer have branches and where customers expect efficient solutions, this is a sore point that must be resolved,” says innovation expert Ronny Khan at the DNB office in Bergen.

An app to read passports
Khan has previously worked on the development of several products and services, and started internally at DNB to find solutions for how identification with passports can take place without a personal appearance by the customers.

The solution is a mobile phone app that scans the first page of the customer’s passport. The app then reads all the information in the passport. Finally, the app will identify that the person using the service is the same individual as the owner of the passport and that this person really is physically present in front of the phone through facial recognition. The solution will produce a signed document that will record the identification process, and the document will also be certified in a blockchain so that proof of its existence can subsequently be validated at any given time, regardless of the digital signatures in the document.

Collaboration with the Netherlands and England
In further development of the pilot on its way to becoming a product, DNB has collaborated with technology companies in the Netherlands and England.

“We could have created this relatively simply ourselves, but there are many aspects of the implementation that make it sensible to collaborate with specialists. By combining their expertise and solutions with our own, we achieve a very secure and robust solution,” says Khan.

“In addition, DNB’s corporate management wanted to look at the business opportunities this could provide, and they decided that the project should be an independent company and offered to anyone who was interested,” says Khan.

The company does not have any permanent employees, but it has allocated resources. Most of the development took place in Bergen, and some took place in the Netherlands and London, with the latter city being the central meeting place. 


Potential for exports
?In addition to increased identification requirements for banks and other financial institutions, the solution can be adapted for use in other sectors and industries. All European countries and most countries in the world issue passports that can be used in DNB’s solution. The same applies to all European ID cards (Schengen documents), including the new Norwegian ID card, which will be launched next year.

“The first version of the solution will be ready in the course of the first quarter, and it is relatively easy to provide the functionality. The next step will be for the banks to adapt the solution to their business processes, and it will be interesting to see how quickly the established institutions will implement this,” says Khan.

Facts / Identification

  • Today bank customers must go through an initial identification process based on a personal appearance with their passport if the customer does not already have a valid bankID. To be eligible for bankID, you must have been through such an appearance. This also applies if you lose the bankID issued by changing banks. 
  • For certain financial services, such as small loans and e-money services, the requirements remain less stringent, and full identification is not required in accordance with the current regulations. Due to increased efforts against money laundering, the European authorities are about to tighten the regulations, and in the future the identification requirements will be stricter even for simple services. 
  • DNB’s mobile solution will handle the identification of passports from most countries in the world, as well as all the European ID cards, including the Norwegian ID card due to be launched next year.