Swiss watchdog tweaks digital onboarding rules

Swiss watchdog tweaks digital onboarding rules

Swiss financial markets regulator Finma has updated its rules for digital client onboarding to reflect advances in technology such as the ability to authenticate a user with a "selfie with liveness detection".

In 2016, Finma set out rules for how financial services firms should conduct video and online identification for new client onboarding to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering rules.

While the move has been broadly well received, authorities have raised concerns that the rules are not strict enough, while financial services firms have argued that some aspects are too restrictive.

In response, Finma has launched a consultation - running until the end of March - on updating the due diligence requirements to better reflect the current technological landscape.

Most notably, Finma wants to ditch the requirement for the video identification process to need a single-use password (TAN).

Instead, at least three randomly selected visual security features (such as holographic-kinematic features, pressure-elements with visual spill-effects, personalised materials) of identification documents must be checked.

When checking a client's identification using photos, banks will have to require a "selfie with liveness detection” - using things such as eyeball tracking software to prevent the use of old photos or photos of third parties.

Meanwhile, Finma plans to get rid of the rule that clients must carry out a transfer from a bank in Switzerland to ensure compliance with due diligence requirements. Instead, under some circumstances, clients can send a transfer from Financial Action Task Force member states.

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