Putting your selfies to good use

Signing up for a new account at BNZ is now easier and faster than ever. The bank announced today that by using a selfie video in the sign-up process, more new customers opening a personal account can join completely online, eliminating the need to visit a branch at all.

“In a first for New Zealand, all you need is your New Zealand passport and a smartphone, tablet or PC with a camera. To join up, you just take a video of your passport and a selfie video while you repeat a phrase supplied by BNZ as part of your online application. We take care of the rest,” says Howard Silby, BNZ’s Chief Operating Officer for Customer, Products and Services.

BNZ was also the first bank to support opening an account online with a verified RealMe ID last year. Until now, customers without one could start the joining process online but eventually they’d need to physically visit a branch to verify their identity.

“We’re bringing this process completely into the digital age, giving more people more options, and making it faster and simpler, which is what customers tell us they’re after,” says Mr. Silby.

This speed doesn’t come at the expense of security, because using video is more secure and harder to defraud.

As an additional layer of security, real BNZers will still verify all sign-ups, checking identification behind the scenes. The process just takes a couple of minutes for customers to complete, and in most cases, they can expect their new BNZ account to be verified and working by the next business day.

“If you sign up to any new service these days, you expect it to be a digital process – just download an app or visit a site, put in some details, then start using it. Customers are comparing this kind of experience with most things they do, including joining a bank.

“We have a culture of innovation at BNZ, and we make these comparisons too. We use digital tools to make banking as simple and as fast as possible. We strive to be as good or better than any other digital service our customers use.

“We have a proud record of innovating for our customers at BNZ and I see the new sign up process as a building block for the future of a more seamless digital banking experience for more customers,” says Mr Silby.

Today’s announcement comes hot on the heels of BNZ winning Canstar’s Bank of the Year – Online Banking 2018 award.