Northern Bank, the largest retail bank in Northern Ireland, has selected Experian, the global information services company, to help process new account applications in a more streamlined and efficient manner.
Customers applying for a new Northern Bank loan, a current or savings account can now be verified instantly, without having to show paper proof of identity. The new electronic authentication process has been rolled out across the bank's entire call centre and branch network.
Using paper documentation as proof of identity required customers to bring valuable documents into their local branch and meant that staff had to spend time checking and photocopying the documents. With Authenticate Pro from Experian, Northern Bank can conduct all the necessary identity and anti-money laundering checks on its customers electronically at the click of a button.
When a customer applies for an account, Northern Bank's staff electronically check the biographical information supplied by the applicant against Experian's data sources. The individual's identity is validated and verified to confirm that they are who they say they are and highlight risks of money laundering or fraud. An authentication result is then returned and customers can be given an instant account decision.
Garth Arnold, Senior Consultant at Northern Bank, commented: "Authenticate Pro is very efficient; greatly improving both our internal business processes and the experience our customers have when they open accounts. Experian's professional services team worked closely with our staff to create new procedures, deliver training and script what was communicated to customers. As a result, staff have taken well to the system and its usage has increased four-fold since the initial roll-out."
James Blake, Head of UK Data Authentication at Experian, said: "Customer acquisition is becoming more challenging for organisations in the current economic climate. Many organisations in the financial services sector are looking at straight-through-processing (STP) to automate processes, save time and money and improve the customer experience. Authenticate Pro helps organisations realise STP benefitts; eliminating paper-based processes and instantly verifying more people electronically to encourage higher application volumes."