Interview: Revealing the BankIdent - a game-changing KYC method

3 minute read

First of all, congratulations on winning yet another young professional award. Capital Magazine voted you into the „Top 40 under 40“ cohort of 2020, an elite group of young leaders in business, politics, science and culture. What makes a good leader in your eyes?

In my eyes, a good leader is passionate about what she is doing and stays authentic and true to herself while leading the path forward. At the same time, I think a good leader should stay curious and never stop challenging herself. I feel truly honored to see my name on the Capital list next to other young leaders and look forward to draw inspiration from how they build and lead successful and happy teams.

Since 2018 you are leading the identity business unit of Solarisbank. Can you briefly explain what your unit does?

As a tech company with a full banking license, Solarisbank enables other companies to offer financial services to their customers. The Identity unit is an integral part of Solarisbank’s product offering and empowers fintechs, banks and corporates to offer seamless onboarding processes to their retail and business customers by integrating our digital KYC (Know Your Customer) process into their products via RESTful API.

Why is the identification so important in banking?

As a bank, it is paramount that we know who is opening accounts on our platform in order to prevent identity theft, fraud schemes and money laundering. Therefore, the identification of the customer is the most important measure at our disposal to ensure that the customers’ funds are handled safely and compliantly.

At the same time, it is crucial that the identification is as smooth for the customer as possible. It is typically the first touchpoint the user has with a banking service and the process will set the tone for the customer relationship. After all, you never get a second chance for a first impression. Thus, if the process is cumbersome, unintuitive or somehow dubious, the customer relationship is tainted from the start, or, in the worst case, the user may simply quit the process halfway. Modern consumers are used to the one-click services they use every day (Airbnb, Uber, Spotify, Amazon etc.). In the competitive banking market, you need to meet those expectations, or lose out.

With the announcement of our partnership with Samsung Pay your team also revealed a new identification method – the BankIdent. Can you explain how it works?

With our BankIdent process, we enable our partners to onboard customers in three easy steps. First, the user enters personal data and provides their reference bank account. Next, the user logs into the account and triggers a cent transaction, verifying that they own the account. Finally, the user receives an SMS Tan in order to create a so-called qualified electronic signature (QES), which completes the onboarding process. Our aim with the BankIdent was to make a fast, frictionless and scalable process in order to support digital onboardings.

Who can use the BankIdent service?

The BankIdent is suitable for any service or company that needs to either identify customers according to the German Anti-Money-Laundering Act or needs customers to sign contracts with a qualified electronic signature. Basically, BankIdent can be used by any forward-thinking digital service, really.

How is it different to identification solutions we’ve seen in the past? What are the advantages of BankIdent?

As the BankIdent does not require any face-to-face interaction with a physical agent, it enables a faster and more scalable identification process while still being fully compliant with German money laundering regulation. It’s fully digital and available around the clock, allowing users to identify themselves wherever they are and without getting stuck in waiting lines. In the context of our cooperation with Samsung Pay, the BankIdent has already been an immense success! We see fast onboardings, unlimited scalability and most importantly: significantly higher conversion rates.

Want to create a frictionless onboarding experience for your users?

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