BlueOrange becomes the first online bank in Latvia

May 29, 2018

BlueOrange is the first bank in Latvia that on May 22 has received the permit from the supervisory institution of the financial sector, Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), to perform the customer attraction by using remote or online identification process. It means that BlueOrange continues development as a technological bank and becomes an advanced financial platform that can provide online services to the Latvian residents across the world. Therefore, Latvia approaches such countries as Germany, the Great Britain, Estonia that fully use the remote communication with the customers.

Remote identification means that the customer will no longer have to go to the bank branch in order to open an account. Customer identification in person at the bank will be replaced by a video conversation. The other communication (sending of documents, cards) will take place electronically and by mail.

“On behalf of the customer the identification process has been made as simple and convenient as possible: you have to log into the specially created online office of the bank by performing authorisation by your e-mail or facebook profile, fill in the application for opening of an account and electronically receive the invitation to join the video conversation during which you also have to present an ID document,” explained Marina Zaharova, Project Manager and Chief Operating Officer at BlueOrange. “The bank will review the application and in case of a positive decision will send the payment card by mail, and will send the links to the mobile phone in order to connect with the mobile digipass device BlueKey and Internet Bank. Currently the meeting in person will be necessary in case of additional product or higher risk services, but in this area also we will move forward in our development,” explained Marina Zaharova.

“The project was started already in summer 2015, when the bank began its work on the new business model within the framework of which was planned attraction of new customers from the EU Member States and further from across the world without maintaining regional offices in each country,” Marina Zaharova shared in more detail. “At that moment we were inspired by the progress made by our neighbours in Estonia, when they began e-residence project at the time with the purpose of long-awaited remote identification as well. We researched the best examples in the global banking sector, which already used remote customer identification instruments in order to provide services to them. We found good examples also for regulatory and necessary procedure documents,” the e-project manager shared her experience.

Since the bank had presented its solutions to FCMC in the autumn of 2016, a meticulous work was invested into development of the process itself and the regulatory documents, risk assessment and personnel training. Meanwhile the remote customer access office has been created, wherein the potential customers can already fill in an interactive application in order to open an account. In November 2017, changes were made to the legislation: remote identification process was established in the law, providing the bank with the possibility to prepare an official application to FCMC in order to receive the permit.

“The greatest challenge was creation of a customer-friendly, simple and safe platform. Now we can proudly acknowledge that the established process corresponds to the set goal, and already by the midst of summer we will give it to be assessed by the customers as well,” shared Marina Zaharova. “Since we are pioneers of this service in the very significant sector of financial platforms, initially for receipt of permit was developed the use of technically simple technologies for remote identification by participation of people and not automated systems. At the same time we are preparing for the very near future of biometric scanners; however, the priority will always be convenience, security of customers and assessment of all risks,” commented the project manager.

“According to the FCMC requirements, before starting the remote identification process, the bank will carry out all the necessary preparations and approve internal regulations to ensure compliance with the GDPR with regard to the processing of personal data,” adds Marina Zaharova.

The new possibilities will let the bank easily attract and serve customers also in the remotest regions of Latvia and the Latvian residents abroad, which was not possible until now. At the same time, people who prefer a personal conversation can still visit BlueOrange Client Service Centre in Riga.