“Procedure and scope of remote identification performed by a subject of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing” (hereinafter referred to as “the Cabinet Regulation”) came into force on July 6th. The regulation will facilitate broader and quicker access to a variety of financial services, enable access to a number of finance products outside of regular customer service locations, and boost Latvia’s competitive edge internationally.

The Association of Latvian Commercial Banks (hereinafter referred to as the ALCB) thanks to the Ministry of Finance for its cooperation in drafting this Cabinet Regulation. While developing the regulation, we cooperated closely with the Alternative Finance Services Association of Latvia, the Latvian Leasing Association, the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Latvian Insurers Association, and the Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association.

The ALCB Digital Transformation Committee and the ALCB Legal Committee were actively involved in developing remote identification based on suggestions from banking experts.

Slavomir Mizak, co-chair of the ALCB Digital Transformation Committee, and Technology Development Officer and member of the board at Citadele Banka, is glad that Latvia has finally joined the group of digitally advanced European countries by introducing remote identification.

Ģirts Bērziņš, co-chair of the ALCB Digital Transformation Committee, and Digital Strategy Manager and member of the board at Swedbank Latvija says: “The government taking initiative and developing a legal framework just in time for global digitalization trends is highly appreciated”. Bērziņš agrees that this is a good way to promote the creation of more innovative remote services in Latvia.

Iļja Nogičevs, co-chair of the ALCB Digital Transformation Committee, and Digital Development Manager at SEB Banka, says: “The guidelines and recommendations, i. e. a clear framework, is something we really need in our work here in the Baltics — and we can see that Estonia has already jumped on this opportunity. We are also clearly solving another crucial issue, as our customers keep asking whether they can open accounts without coming to the bank in person. Without adequate regulation, we have to pay the price in service quality, and customers remain dissatisfied.”

On the ALCB’s side, work on the Cabinet Regulation for remote identification of customers was implemented in accordance with the Open Digital Finance Framework priorities 2018, and the “Finance industry associations’ proposals for a joint position on the future EU and Latvian finance market, technological innovations in financial services” submitted to EC deputy chair V. Dombrovskis on 5th June 2017 by nine companies working in finance and related industries.

The banking sector is open to new financial technologies and is actively implementing innovative solutions to speed up service and increase security. Thanks to the infrastructure provided by its central bank, Latvia became the first EU member state to offer swift 24/7/365 euro transfers, available throughout Latvia and the EU.

In 2017, banks introduced numerous payment innovations, enabling the use of smartphones, wristbands and NFC stickers as payment methods, as well as introducing digital code cards and other novel solutions. We have a great foundation for developing new remote services by leveraging our remote transfers experience — customers in Latvia already execute 99% of their payments using internet banking or payment cards.

To facilitate discussion on the remote identification of finance industry customers and sketch out the scope of the Cabinet Regulation, we held an event entitled "Discussion On The Future Regulation Of Remote Electronic Identification And Onboarding" on 26th January 2018 in partnership with COBALT Latvia and the Innovation Centre of the University of Latvia and Microsoft.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, we prepared a reference text on remote identification of customers. We plan to hold an informative event in the near future in order to explain the practical aspects of the Cabinet Regulation.

 

For more information, please contact:

Kristīne Mennika

The ALCB Head of Strategic Communications

kristine.mennika@lka.org.lv

+371 26528533

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