Case Study: Zürcher Kantonalbank. How PXL Vision solved ZKB’s identity verification requirements.

14, April 2020

Financial Services Financial Compliance

The Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) is a bank close to its customers. Drawing from an international network while also acknowledging its regional roots, the company has positioned itself as a universal bank. With assets totaling CHF 167 billion and more than 5100 employees (part-time adjusted), Zürcher Kantonalbank is the largest cantonal bank in Switzerland and one of the largest of the Swiss banks. In the greater Zurich area, they hold the leading position in universal banking. Customers benefit from a comprehensive range of products and services from Zürcher Kantonalbank’s core businesses in financing, investment/asset management, trading and the capital market, as well as the deposit, payment and card business.

Challenge

Swiss pensions are of significant interest for banks given that they are now valued at more than 1 trillion USD (2019). Digitalization, however, is still not very advanced in this area; although customers are undoubtedly interested in this kind of solution. For example, a recent study by ti&m showed that 46 percent of survey participants would favor opening an online pension savings account. Their reasons for this include flexibility and convenience as well as competitive conditions. Existing at the forefront of digital financial services in Switzerland, the Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) planned to launch a completely new digital-only business model for private pension fund investments. For these purposes, they launched their “frankly” app, which emphasised a fully-digital onboarding process.

With the frankly app, ZKB wanted to establish a digital-only model in order to offer lower fees and higher return possibilities for end-users. In order to remove the need for customers to register on the site while maintaining high-security standards and compliance with regulations, ZKB was looking for a fully compliant digital onboarding and identity verification solution. With future use cases already in mind, the team required an experienced digital identity verification partner whose products offered sufficient flexibility.

“We wanted a state-of-the-art solution and a future-proof partner that could provide us with the best User Experience for an easy, compliant and secure onboarding process, not only for frankly, but also for all future use cases” – ZKB CEO, Martin Scholl

Solution

ZKB found a partner in PXL Vision whose product offered first-rate flexibility which not only covered a fully-compliant FINMA identification process but also the re-identification of ZKB’s existing customer base. By seamlessly integrating PXL Vision’s identity verification solution, customers can complete the onboarding process within just a few minutes within the frankly app. Thus, instead of registering on the site, customers can simply use their smartphone to recognize, capture and determine the authenticity of the information on their identity documents in seconds. For identity verification purposes, a quick and simple video-selfie is taken while the user’s liveness is checked. The machine learning algorithms automatically ensure the presence of a real person behind the camera (via passive liveness detection) and then matches the user’s face against the document’s photo (via facial recognition), providing the basis for the verification. 

In anticipation of upcoming regulatory changes in Switzerland (FINMA Revision), ZKB was looking for a future-proof partner that could help with its technological expertise in jointly pushing the regulators towards the right changes. PXL Vision has proven to be the ideal partner, with its highly secure, fully-automated and future-proof technology. While frankly was the first use case, it was clear that PXL Vision is already well-positioned to cover future regulatory changes, such as the need for NFC biometric chip verification, which PXL Vision already has onboard.

Outcome

Launched in March 2020, the frankly pension app is a 100% digital product allowing its services to be available at all times. The onboarding process with biometric login allows users to identify and register via a smartphone in a few minutes. Since its launch, Zürcher Kantonalbank has already managed to onboard 1000s of users. 

PXL Vision not only supported ZKB with the technological integration of their product into their business process, but also with their expertise in the regulatory challenges together with the bank. By joining forces, ZKB and PXL Vision have proven the security of online identity verification, and they are already preparing for a fully compliant process according to the revised FINMA Circular 2016/7, which should enter into force by the middle of 2021.

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