Opening a new bank account as easy as taking a selfie

In South Africa, you can now open a bank account within 5 minutes using your selfie. This is thanks to First National Bank new biometric feature which allows small and medium businesses (SMEs) to switch or open a new bank account in less than 5 minutes through selfie authentication and digital KYC (Know Your Customer) on their FNB App.

This paperless cheque account opening process uses biometric technology to validate the business and its owner, allows the SME to order and courier new cards, switch debit orders and setup digital banking immediately.

“Today marks a significant milestone in our 180-year history as we move beyond being a digital innovator to a broader contextual platform disruptor. It is through this contextually helpful platform that we can offer holistic financial solutions and become a trusted partner to the broader society. This will enable us to help create a better world for years to come,” said Jacques Celliers, CEO at FNB South Africa.

FNB South Africa says it has worked hard to understand how SMEs operate and their day to day challenges. To this effect , the South African bank says it has coined the phrase coined the phrase “businessism”, which they define as driving their focus on solutions that remove moments of angst that businesses face – from registering a company and opening a bank account, to applying for credit and managing the businesses daily affairs.

“Our digital solutions now cater for the entire SME value chain via Online Banking Enterprise™ which is linked to the FNB App, The focus on fintech has grown significantly on the African continent. Although there are a number players who actively innovate in the SME market, they often lack scale and fail to deliver a single platform that is convenient and does not pose additional cost, security and administrative burdens. Therefore, it was imperative that we not only integrate key solutions, but further incorporate trust and simplicity to our platforms, while ensuring that we do not add complexity in an already over-crowded marketplace,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business.

Undoubtedly, this is an "eye-catching" innovation by FNB South Africa to allow small businesses to open an account in under 5 minutes using a selfie, however, we'd like to hear from you as a startup if you'd use such a service and any risks or concerns you have.

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