Europe on the brink of borderless banking?

Europe on the brink of borderless banking?

A consortium of European private and public sector organisations are testing out the use of a citizen’s national digital identity from France to open a bank account in the UK.

The group comprises HSBC, Barclays, the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), Orange, OT-Morpho and the Open Identity Exchange (OIX UK). The project is co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility, a funding instrument to support the development of interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.

As part of their pilot, they will carry out the work using eIDAS (Electronic Identity and Signature) standards – and which are used in the European Single Market. These are built for the public sector and they will test how these can be used for the private sector.

OT-Morpho will develop services and infrastructure for the identity authentication process. HSBC and Barclays will evaluate how eIDAS services and other attribute information “can be used to fulfill their account opening processes for international customers”.

Trista Sun, HSBC global head of international and cross border, says customers “often have to produce a separate set of identification paperwork when they open a bank account in a new country” and the use of “recognised, trusted digital IDs across borders will revolutionise this process”.

In addition, the consortium will use the mobile connect authentication process allowing the user to request a digital ID that is validated via eIDAS, and “further attributes will be collated and shared with the banks”. Orange will create the services for this part.

There are no timelines, but they say this project will develop and test a prototype as well as building the service design, infrastructures and operational framework that use eIDAS to enable a “more trustworthy and efficient” account opening process for EU citizens.