Leniencies in opening a bank account digitally: Customers will be able to open a first bank account digitally from the age of 16

Banking Supervision has provided the banking system with a draft of amendments to the “E-Banking” directive, as part of which a range of leniencies in the process of opening an account online (via digital means) will be granted:

a.       The process of identifying and verifying the identity of the customer will be made simpler, by using innovative technologies.

b.      A customer’s first account will also be able to be opened remotely (via the bank’s application or website). Currently, only a customer who already has an existing bank account can open an account online.

c.       It will be possible to open an account via digital means from age 16 (instead of the currently allowed age of 18).

 

Due to the technological advances in remote identification and verification of customers, and with the aim of simplifying the identification and verification processes currently required to open an account online, Banking Supervision is publishing draft amendments to the directive on the issue of e-banking (Proper Conduct of Banking Business Directive no. 367) that will make the process of opening an account through digital means easier. The amendment makes it possible to use one identification document (instead of the current two), and cancels the requirement to make a bank transfer from an existing account belonging to the customer to the new account as part of the verification process. These will be replaced by identification and verification through technological means in real time (online) or not (offline).

 

In addition, as of the effective date of the Directive, it will be possible to open a bank account online from age 16 (instead of 18), subject to interactive real-time communication between the minor and the bank—to provide guidance to the customer and to implement the appropriate controls. There will be no change to the other conditions for managing the account of a minor.

 

The changes will allow customers to open their first bank account digitally, without going to the branch, and will make it easier for existing customers to switch banks.

 

Banking Supervision Department data show that through the middle of 2017, the number of accounts opened online throughout the banking system was negligible, and removing barriers such as these is expected to make it markedly easier to open accounts online.

 

Supervisor of Banks Dr. Hedva Ber said, “Banking Supervision has set a goal for itself of supporting the enhancement of innovation and technology in the banking system. The steps we are announcing today are part of the trend of removing barriers, which Banking Supervision does in order to allow the increase of banking activity conducted digitally, and they will support enhancing competition, reducing the cost of services, and improving the convenience of utilizing banking services."