Insights & Analyses

BBVA Compass pushes law to allow opening bank accounts via mobile, online – One World Identity

December 9, 2016

Barriers to banking could potentially be brought down through a newly proposed bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, which aims to make it easier for users to open a bank account via a mobile device or website.

The bill, identified as HR 6287, is supported by BBVA Compass, which believes mobile and remote banking services would make it easier for those who do not currently utilize financial services to open an account.

Currently, various state laws limit banks from using state-issued identification cards when opening an account via a smartphone or the internet. After BBVA Compass and other financial institutions found difficulties in implementing easier remote services, the company undertook the initiative to help change the law.

They hope to bring consistency to differing state laws across America.

The proposed solution would allow customers to take a photo of their driver’s license or any other state ID card, as well as a photo of their face to verify the person’s identity. BBVA Compass officials hope that the law would help bring digital products and banking services to everyone who wants them.

“There are obstacles on the path to digital transformation due to inconsistencies in state and federal policy that prohibit photographing or photocopying a driver’s license or state-issued ID,” said BBVA Compass Head of Mobile and Online Channels Alex Carriles. “That poses a problem for a lot of people, including those who are unbanked or underbanked, who have to visit branches to open accounts. That also poses a problem for our mission of bringing the age of opportunity to everyone.”

The bill has drawn support from across the aisle including Republican representatives Scott Tipton of Colorado and Randy Hultgren of Illinois, and Democrat Terri Sewell of Alabama.

Proper identification of customers when using services or opening accounts online is a stumbling block for a wide variety of industries. Even the highly lucrative online gambling market faces difficulties with local regulations due to a lack of proper online identification methods.