By Executive Committee Act 172/1/29.05.2020, the Bank of Greece laid down the terms and conditions for digital customer onboarding by banks and other supervised entities.
The new Act encourages the development of flexible and technologically innovative service delivery models in the financial sector, introduces a regulatory framework that is in line with those in place in most EU Member States, and ensures a level playing field for domestic institutions in a rapidly changing international environment. The Act becomes all the more important in the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and in view of the need to address its impact, as it creates service provision channels compatible with social distancing.
The Act contains a combination of organisational, technical and procedural measures that ensure a reliable identity verification of natural persons and are designed to prevent identity fraud. Two methods of digital onboarding are envisaged: (a) by video conference with a trained agent, which provides the greatest safeguard of security; and (b) an automated procedure via a dynamic selfie, subject to additional safeguard measures.
The identification documents for natural persons that are acceptable are those incorporating enhanced security features, most notably passports. Exceptionally and only as part of the video conference method, ID cards issued by the Hellenic Police, with data written in Latin characters, may be accepted subject to validity and authenticity check through the central portal of the public administration.
Rapid technological advances open up new opportunities for financial corporations, by enabling direct access to online services, faster transactions, lower costs and broader geographical reach. At the same time, however, they present AML/CFT (Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism) challenges. The new Act seeks to address these challenges by establishing modern rules for secure customer identification and for limiting remote access risks.