Friday 22 September 2017

KBC Bank allowing customers to sign up for current account with a selfie

Wim Verbraeken, Chief Executive, KBC Bank Ireland and Dara Deering, Executive Director, Retail Banking, KBC Bank Ireland, said
Wim Verbraeken, Chief Executive, KBC Bank Ireland and Dara Deering, Executive Director, Retail Banking, KBC Bank Ireland, said
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

KBC Bank is asking new customers to take a selfie to sign up for a current account.

It is putting it up to its rivals by launching an app that allows new customers to open a current account in just five minutes. The new process is paperless.

And the bank is now providing customer support on a 24/7 basis.

The bank, which is attempting to double its customer numbers by taking customers from other banks, is also opening a new branch in Blanchardstown in Dublin. This is its sixteenth hub.

The new app allows customers to open a current account from their phone and they will get €5 as a reward.

Customers are signed up to the Extra current account, which has no transaction charges if at least €2,500 is lodged into it each month.

Part of the verification process involves taking a selfie.

The new process is in line with anti-money laundering legislation, KBC said.

The bank claims the mobile app is the first of its kind. It was developed in Dublin. It will now be rolled out in the bank’s other operations in Belgium and Hungary.

The bank is investing €1.5bn in digital innovations.

It claims users can open a new account in just five steps via the app, and works on Apple and android devices.

Customers download the app and enter their personal details.

KBC then sends on an activation code before asking users to take a photograph of their driving licence and a selfie.

Once these are uploaded, customers confirm their details, answer a couple of legal questions and add their digital debit card to their Apple or Android Pay wallets.

Customers can immediately use the digital card to make purchases with KBC giving €5 to every new account.

KBC Bank’s director of innovation Eddie Dillon said: “We’ve whittled down the time to open a new active bank account from over a week to just five minutes, entirely paper-free.”

The bank is trying to get consumers to switch their current account to it.

Only 3,600 of the 5.2m banking customers switched their current account in the first half of last year, according to figures from the Central Bank.

KBC is hoping that making it easier to open an account does helps gain customers.

Two recent entrants to the Irish market, Revolut and N26, which are both digital-only banks, have gained thousands of customers respectively in Ireland in a short space of time for their easy-to-activate accounts.

KBC currently has 250,000 customers in Ireland. It employs about 1,000 people locally.

The bank is also opening its customer contact centre in Dublin on a 24/7 basis. This means customers will be able to get in touch with the bank at any time of the day or night.

Customers can contact it by phone, webchat, email or social media.

The contact centre provides both customer service and sales advice.

Mr Dillon said KBC is the first bank in Ireland to offer both on a round-the-clock basis.

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