RBC speeds up bank account opening with NFC passport reading

Royal Bank of Canada logo on Toronto hq
SECURE PROCESS: RBC’s mobile app uses NFC and AI to speed up account opening proof of ID

Royal Bank of Canada has added new features to its mobile app that make it quicker and easier for customers opening a new bank account at a branch to prove their identity.

“The RBC Mobile App now uses artificial intelligence to check a client’s government-issued identification against the security features and characteristics of driver’s licences and passports,” the bank explains.

“The app also uses near field communications (NFC) so clients can tap the electronic chip on newer versions of passports.”

“When a client scans their ID through the mobile app on their phone, that information is automatically entered into their account profile on an advisor’s computer, immediately providing clients with a stronger connection between the branch and the app,” RBC says.

“Once a part of an account profile, the information is used and protected in the same way that RBC treats all personal information.”


“A major priority for RBC is ensuring clients who choose to open an account with RBC have the best possible experience when doing so,” the bank adds.

“In the last year alone, the new account open experience at RBC reduced the time to open by more than 70%. These features will speed up that process even more as advisors will spend less time on data entry and document verification, and more time having richer conversations with clients.”

“The new identity verification solutions also reduce the need for clients to share more information about themselves than is necessary when opening an account.

“RBC only captures and retains the necessary information required for opening and operating a personal deposit account.

“Now, clients will be more in control of their personal information, and be assured that their identity and accounts are secure from the moment they join RBC.”

Anti-fraud measures

“Verifying and protecting our clients’ identities is among the most important things we do,” says RBC’s SVP digital Peter Tilton.

“The world-class technology underpinning these features will better protect clients from fraud caused by identity and document forgery and give them an unparalleled account opening experience.”

“We’ve spent the last two months piloting this in nearly 50 branches and the reaction from clients and advisors has been outstanding,” adds Sean Amato-Gauci, RBC’s EVP for cards, payments and banking.

“We are adding to the existing suite of digital identity solutions developed by the banking industry by providing clients with another option for securely verifying their identity with us.

“These solutions also allow our advisors time to focus on what they do best — understanding our clients’ needs, providing advice and delivering an exceptional experience.”

The service is currently available at 100 RBC branches in Ontario and Quebec and works with both Android and iOS devices.

“In the coming months, they will be scaled across other branches, channels and products,” the bank says.

“Later this summer, RBC plans to launch mobile account open by evolving this capability to allow clients to take a live selfie to further verify their identities against the government-issued ID on file.”

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