CIBC has become the latest major bank to embrace selfie onboarding, announcing a new remote identity verification tool for Canadian customers who want to open new accounts.
Headquartered in Toronto, CIBC is one of Canada’s “Big Five” banks. It also operates internationally, serving customers in the US, the UK, Asia, and the Caribbean. Its implementation of biometric onboarding is therefore another sign of the mainstreaming of this technology in the financial services sector.
CIBC is taking the same approach as so many other organizations in financial services and other sectors: end users who sign up for the identity verification service will be asked to upload photos of their government-issued identity documents, along with a selfie image. From there, facial recognition technology is used to biometrically match the images together, thereby confirming the end user’s identity.
It has become an especially popular approach to remote onboarding in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated shifts into remote, online channels. In a statement announcing the new feature, CIBC’s SVP of Digital Banking & Enablement, David Attard, framed it primarily as the latest innovation to serve clients.
“We know our clients and prospective clients are seeking smart, convenient banking, and digital identity verification is another way we’re innovating to meet our clients’ changing needs,” he said. “We continue to transform and enhance our digital experience to save our clients’ time and effort, and make it easier to bank with us.”
CIBC has demonstrated its interest in biometric technology before, through its CIBC Innovation Banking arm’s investment in Invixium, a Toronto-based firm specializing in biometric access control and time and attendance tracking.
Notably, in its announcement of the new remote onboarding service, the bank appears to have been careful to avoid using the words “biometric” and “facial recognition”, instead emphasizing the “digital identity verification” service’s use of “machine-learning algorithms”.
The service is available through both the CIBC website and its mobile app.
August 3, 2021 – by Alex Perala