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Metro Bank now allows new customers to authenticate their identity when opening bank accounts by uploading a selfie, alongside proof of identification, like driving licence or passport.

Read more: Milestone for Metro Bank

Metro Bank, although it launched with putting value in its branches, is now using ‘digital account opening’ for its online applications. Applicants will receive a card by post within two working days of applying.

With 55 branches, mostly around the South East and London, Metro Bank has differentiated itself offering extended opening hours, instant debit card printing and pet-friendly branches. The bank also offers 24/7 customer service line.

The Metro Bank current account is useful when used around Europe as it has no non-sterling transaction fees or cash withdrawal fees. Beyond that, the Metro Bank card offers little else.

Related: Metro Bank wins more FANS, eyes profitability

Metro Bank isn’t the first to use the technology. Monzo bank allows the applicant to upload a selfie video of them introducing themselves, while others such as Bank of Scotland and Starling have been using selfie ID for a while.

In 2016, HSBC already launched a program to verify their IDs when opening an account by taking a selfie, working very similarly to Metro Bank’s. Similarly in 2016, Mastercard started allowing online payment authentications through selfies. A similar tech was launched by Neon and Visa last year.

Not all are advantages when it comes to selfie verification. A mobile-based virus appeared in 2016 that asked victims to take selfies so it can steal their credit card data. The malware disguised itself as an app in the victim’s phone and executed a code in the background to ask users for payment details for “verification” purposes.

by Henry Vilar
Henry is Junior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: henryv@ibsintelligence.com
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