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Estonia to allow bank account to be opened without going to bank

Staff Writer |
The Finance Ministry is about to make amendments to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act adopted this summer.

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The act is to enable residents and e-residents of to open a bank account without going to a bank office, writes LETA/BNS.

"Information technology solutions have existed already for some time which enable to identify a person at a distance. It's entirely reasonable to allow to use it also when opening a bank account.

"The bill was drafted in close collaboration with private sector financial institutions and banks, which helped to set out as state-of-the-art and safe principles as possible," said Finance Minister Sven Sester.

After the amendment has taken effect, a video bridge enabling to check a person's facial features against the photo on the ID and in the database of the Police and Border Guard Board may be used for identification and verification of identity.

Besides an interview would be conducted with the person to determine his or her risk profile, including the person's background, origin of assets, and purpose of entry into a business relationship. The whole process will be recorded and the recording archived.

The service is meant for everyone holding an Estonian ID card, a digital ID or an e-resident's digital identity card.

The amendment would leave it for the bank to decide whether to identify a person using electronic means or demand identification while being present at the same place as the person or the person's representative.

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