ING Direct makes paper account applications a thing of the past

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ING Direct makes paper account applications a thing of the past

Through a partnership with identity verification developer FCS Online, ING Direct will become the first Australian bank to offer customers the option of a purely online account application process.

The bank will now be able to validate application information through electronic ID verification, which will eliminate the need for applicants to send in applications or visit bank branches in order to open a new bank account.

This move follows the anti-money laundering legislation in December that requires financial institutions to identify customers when they try to open an account, obtain a loan, buy traveler’s checks or make an electronic funds transfer.

The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act also encourages institutions to perform checks through electronic means, rather than the standard 100-point certification.

The two companies believe this partnership will not only make banking more convenient, but will also reduce the amount of customers lost in the application process and increase the speed of applying.

FCS Online CEO Tony Fitzgibbon said the deal is simply the next logical step in the fight against identity theft.

“The methods that fraudsters are using to create false identities continue to improve,” he said.

“This means that businesses need to be savvier and more vigilant about checking the identity of their customers to ensure they stay ahead of the game.”

The venture comes with FCS Online’s announcement that the Department of Immigration will now allow its FCS customers access to Passport data in electronic checks, which Fitzgibbon thinks will largely cut-down the likelihood of fraud and payment evasion.

“Critical to fraud detection and reducing financial services crime is the ability to confirm identity and determine the likelihood that an applicant intends to meet their financial commitments," he said.

“Knowing how long an applicant will be staying in Australia, and indeed
whether they are even legally allowed to be here, is critical to the decision-making process.”

Other banks throughout Australia are expected to install similar systems to comply with the AML legislation.

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