RBC, Bluink introduce digital identity verification solutions in Canada

RBC, Bluink introduce digital identity verification solutions in Canada

Digital ID is advancing in Canada, with a new bank account opening process backed by electronic ID documents, and eventually biometrics, and a new digital identity smartphone app for residents of the country’s most populous province.

RBC is the first Canadian bank to offer digital government identity verification solutions to clients opening a personal chequing account in branch for secure identity verification, fraud prevention and seamless onboarding experience by scanning or tapping IDs or passports, the financial institution announced.

“As we make our clients’ everyday banking experience easier, we continue to be guided by the imperatives of trust and security. Verifying and protecting our clients’ identities is among the most important things we do,” says Peter Tilton, SVP, Digital at RBC, in a prepared statement. “The world-class technology underpinning these features will better protect clients from fraud caused by identity and document forgery and give them an unparalleled account opening experience.”

The RBC Mobile App leverages AI technology to analyze government IDs based on security elements in driver’s licenses and passports, and Near-Field Communications (NFC) for ePassport use.

After the ID is scanned with the mobile app, the data is registered in their account profile on an advisor’s computer, but RBC assures clients the information is used and protected in line with its strategy to guard personal information.

“Until now, our architecture limited our ability to quickly deliver the solutions our clients and advisors want,” continued Tilton. “A single digital platform gives us immense flexibility to reuse core capabilities that extend across the bank and design solutions with our clients and advisors in mind from the start. This means clients will enjoy a more consistent experience with RBC across our delivery channels.”

Future plans include introducing a mobile account opening feature with live biometric selfies to verify identity against IDs on file.

Since it has introduced advanced technologies for new account onboarding, RBC says it cut down the time to open by at least 70 percent, because clients no longer waste time with data entry and document verification.

“We’ve spent the last two months piloting this in nearly 50 branches and the reaction from clients and advisors has been outstanding,” said Sean Amato-Gauci, EVP, Cards, Payments & Banking at RBC, in a prepared statement. “We are adding to the existing suite of digital identity solutions developed by the banking industry by providing clients with another option for securely verifying their identity with us.”

The new features are supported on both iOS and Android devices. They allow clients to have more control over their personal information and prevent them from divulging more personal information than necessary. This option is already available in 100 branches in Canadian provinces Ontario and Quebec, but it will expand to more branches, channels and partners this year. The processes are in line with Canada’s Know Your Client (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and privacy regulations.

Digital identity smartphone app launched in Ontario

In other news from Canada, Ottawa-based Bluink has launched in Ontario eID-Me digital identity smartphone app on iOS and Android, following a $1.2M award from the Ontario Government’s Small Business Innovation Challenge, the company announced.

“Our goal is to improve access to services that require verified identity, including government, financial, health care, legal, and more,” says Steve Borza, CEO of Bluink, in a prepared statement. “Once integrations are in place, eID-Me could prevent identity fraud in financial services, which became more likely due to millions of leaked social insurance numbers and other information from the Desjardins and Capital One data breaches last year.”

Government-issued identity and self-managed identity information is kept on the user’s phone, in an effort to eliminate password reliance and boost privacy protection. eID-Me could be deployed for age verification by online cannabis stores to ensure the process is in line with Health Canada regulations. It delivers fast and easy verification, as all users have to do is take a selfie, scan their IDs and submit for identity proofing.

Bluink’s solution encrypts identity information and sends it to a secure registration server for verification. The digital identity is then created on the smartphone through a digital certificate linked to an anonymous identifies and the user’s information to create a digital wallet. Bluink’s eID-Me servers do not retain identity information, the company claims, while the decentralized identity model lowers the risk for data breaches.

eID-Me’s digital wallet has strong encryption based on the phone’s hardware security mechanisms and unlock methods. To register for eID-Me, a valid Canadian passport and Ontario Driver’s License or Photo Card will be required.

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