Online identification for bank accounts from home

monzo is an IT company that happens to be a bank-ish sort of organisation and as an IT specialist/professional, I suggest that they never lose focus on the tech front.

to that end, have a look at jumio for online identification. UK mandates the verification of individuals for access to banking, which is why you have to go to the bank with your ID and proof of address to get a bog standard account, but as there is no branch for my bank, mondo, and I do not think it wise at all to ask for peoples’ passports or driving licence in the post, look at these products:

1.) German Version

2.) US Version

In Germany they are calling it video-ident and it works so much better than what we currently have here in good ol UK.

– there, visit to bank done!! There is a mobile app version of these available too meaning that the wheel has already been invented for us so integration and implementation is a developer’s dream??

just saying…


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I know that Monzo are looking at using video selfies (which are better than photographs, as you’d need CGI, rather than Photoshop to trick them), for identity verification once the bank is launched :thumbsup:

Having someone join a webchat for the verification process seems quite labour intensive / time consuming for the Monzo support team but if it’s necessary to go that far, this looks like a good option to me :slight_smile:

these are completely outsorced. no need for additional staff at all as the german option above will provide vetted and trained staff. not sure about jumio, but they would.

this what you meant: ??

Ah ok, in that case, I guess there’s a cost implication to consider.

When Jonas described the tool to me, he was talking about the user recording a video of themselves & didn’t mention whether documents would need to be recorded at the same time but it wasn’t an in depth discussion either.
It’s difficult to tell whether the au10tix solution is similar without seeing a demo but I expect it’s a similar concept.

I’d also guess that Monzo will aim to build the solution themselves, if possible but I don’t know how difficult that would be…

It’s interesting to see what this might look like anyway!

The German version of this used by Fidor in the UK is actually restricting possible customers. While in the past all European passports and ID cards were accepted, now they use this outsourced service that service is only able to do verification of certain nationalities and does not accept more secure ID cards from countries such as Estonia. Therefore customers who would have been able to open an account when they checked ID in house can no longer open an account, turning more customers away from the challenger bank back to the big high street banks.

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I don’t know if you’re already aware and that’s what you meant but they’re already doing this, right now. My wife and I got mondo cards recently and I was verified without doing anything. When she activated the card, the iOS app asked her to photograph her passport (or driving license) and then record a short video-selfie saying “Hi my name is X and I’ve got my mondo card” (or something very similar, hazy memory!) - after doing this she was verified (very) shortly afterwards.

I’m just an ignorant customer and don’t know about the mentioned downsides but I thought this process was absolutely excellent. We’ve had to jump through some crazy hoops (an understatement…) in the past (with banks especially) as she’s got a non-UK passport and has a limited amount of the “normal” documents that they tend to need for their checkbox list. Maybe it’ll be the same story when it comes to the current account upgrade but this was all sorted from the sofa in a matter of minutes - I can’t emphasise enough how good the experience was compared to high street banks.


Oh ok, I thought Monzo were only using voice recordings for verification now, thanks for letting me know.

And that does sound like a great process! :heart_eyes:

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Best thing to do is to approach this as an id verification platform. APIs will permit for the dressing and how this process can be encapsulated within the banking app, but if a platform approach was adopted then the pitfalls of any of the aforementioned solutions are not a dealbreaker. Barclays r&d are looking at voice biometrics and something about heartbeat rhythm measured by a wearable for strong authentication/identification, there is also touch id from apple, and the android counterpart, and my favourite, netverify from jumio as it is super easy to use, they even have apps already, search for jumio showcase on you app store google or apple and see. Casing point is that the ID capture and verification solutions are there and really should be used as plugins into the monzo app.

Bedtime reading:

Fidor have an excellent on boarding routine if you are British, sad to hear about misgivings of their system for other nationalities. An AI system that is a composite of feeds of information from different sources may address this issue.

In comes deepmind et-al…


The company they use is IDNow

I opened an atom account (sorry they had some good rates!) I voice and face verified my log in. Painless, but it’s also very temperamental.

Voice recognition pretty good but facial recognition works well during the day in natural light and poor in evenings under dimmer artificial light.

Since joining Atom, I’ve had no end of issues with logging in. Voice seems not to always work, face as you say requires near perfect daylight, anything less and it’s a no go. All in all a real pain. Atom don’t do fingerprint log on.

Fingerprint log with Monzo is by far the best and quickest, but for opening an account if it helps then do it, but don’t venture to face or voice for general log on, please.


I don’t think voice verification is going to be too good for long…

This is some seriously impressive tech.


Take today for instance, relodaded atom app and had to get new passcode, that was no issue. However it wants to check my facial record and has been asking me to blink. Well I’ve been blinking all damn day, no joy. I’ve tried it with bright light low light and every light in between, still no joy, and I’m still not in the app. Absolutely useless. Fingerprint all the way.

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