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Partnerships — 29 Nov 2022

UBS Chose Regula to Innovate and Secure Document Verification for Opening Bank Accounts

UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland and the world’s largest private bank, has partnered with Regula, identity verification and forensic solutions developer, to create for their customers a totally new experience for opening accounts and accessing banking products. Instead of real-time video interviews, which were previously required by UBS to verify new customers, the enrollment process is now fully automated, available 24/7, and takes just a few minutes with as little action from the customer as possible. All this is possible thanks to Regula’s top-notch identity verification solutions that recognize and authenticate documents in a snap and compare document portraits with users’ selfies to ensure their identities are genuine.  

UBS appears to be the first bank in Switzerland to enable automatic identity verification and electronic signature creation. With the overall trend for user experience digitalization in Finance and Banking, this step couldn’t be more timely. Onboarding for new customers is now available right from the UBS Mobile Banking app, anytime and anywhere. 

The whole procedure is done in four simple steps:

  • With the help of a smartphone, the customer scans their ID, which must be a biometric passport only. If the customer is a Swiss citizen, they are required to provide a biometric Swiss passport. For non-citizens, it’s obligatory to scan their national biometric passport and Swiss residence permit.
  • The scanned passport (and permit) is automatically processed with Regula Document Reader SDK––first, its type and data are instantly identified and verified with Regula’s OCR engine; second, the RFID chip is read and full server-side verification and authentication of the chip data is performed according to the ICAO 9303 standard, including data integrity and genuineness check as well as chip cloning check. 
  • After the document verification is complete, the customer takes a selfie for a liveness check.
  • Finally, Regula Face SDK compares the document portrait (both the visible one and the one in the RFID chip) with the selfie to ensure the person is who they claim to be.     

All these actions are done in less than five minutes, and right afterwards, the customer gets access to their freshly created bank account. Also, such profound identity verification allows UBS to generate qualified electronic signatures for their customers, which they can use widely throughout the country.  

Why Biometric Passport Only?

Biometric passports are currently considered to be the most secure. Their key feature is an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip, a reliable security element that makes counterfeiting such documents a much harder task. This is especially true for documents with the latest version (the so-called second generation) of the chips. RFID chips encode vital personal and biometric information, such as name, gender, photo, signature, and more, and significantly contribute to the authenticity and security of the documents. 

All that being said, there is still a possibility that counterfeiters can clone official chips to create forged IDs. Nowadays, it is possible to verify biometric documents using mobile devices with NFC technology. But when using a smartphone, there is a risk of verification results being intercepted and modified by fraudsters directly on the same device. Thus, client-side verification appears to be not reliable enough, especially for such sensitive spheres as Finance and Banking.

With Regula’s complete server-side RFID chip authentication, it has become possible to verify the authenticity of biometric documents to ensure the information in a physical ID is trustworthy and the chip is not cloned or its data manipulated. In this “zero trust to mobile” environment, Regula verifies the authenticity of a chip and its data on a server with Regula SDK installed, leaving no chances for fraudsters to sneak under the radar.

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