UBS leverages NFC and biometrics to let Swiss residents open a bank account from their mobile phone

FACE RECOGNITION: Regula’s system compares a selfie with the passport portrait to verify ID

Residents of Switzerland can now remotely verify their identity when opening an account with Swiss bank UBS by scanning the contactless chip embedded in their biometric passport with their NFC smartphone and confirming their identity with a selfie using face recognition technology.

The bank’s digital onboarding service enables Swiss citizens and foreign nationals with a Swiss residence permit to sign up for an account, access banking products and create an electronic signature in the UBS mobile banking app “anytime and anywhere” and without needing to carry out the real-time video interview that the bank previously required.

The service uses a document authentication solution developed by Latvia-based technology provider Regula that reads the RFID chip in a customer’s biometric passport via “the NFC module on a mobile device. It then sends the session to the server where both chip and data authenticity and integrity are verified by means of asymmetric cryptographic keys,” Regula explains.

“The secure authentication of the electronic chip contributes to the confidence that the information in the physical document is trustworthy and that the chip is not manipulated or cloned. Any discrepancy in the data checks show up immediately and present a clear sign of document tampering.”

“After the document verification is complete, the customer takes a selfie for a liveness check” that Regula’s facial recognition technology then compares with “the document portrait, both the visible one and the one in the RFID chip […], to ensure the person is who they claim to be,” the technology provider says.

“All these actions are done in less than five minutes, and right afterwards, the customer gets access to their freshly created bank account.”

UBS launched a sustainable credit card made of corn in November 2020 and forecast in February 2021 that widespread adoption of biometric payment cards could generate more than US$15bn in global banking revenue by 2026.

UBS leverages NFC and biometrics to let Swiss residents open a bank account from their mobile phone was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.