EDB - Now Norwegians can change bank in just a few seconds

Oslo - 23 November 2009

Norwegians can now change bank and set up new bank accounts over the Internet by using BankID and a code calculator for electronic authorisation. This was previously a very time-consuming manual process that often took many days. By using a new software solution, banks can give new customers full access to Internet banking in just a few seconds.

Norway is the first country in the world to offer this automated facility to open accounts for new customers. The technology has been developed by the Norwegian IT company EDB working in collaboration with BN Bank, and BN Bank is now the first Norwegian bank to offer this solution for its customers.

A Regulation issued by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance in April this year paved the way for this new opportunity. The Regulation made it possible to use electronic authorisation to open a new customer relationship with a bank or an insurance company.

Quick and simple to sign up with a new bank - at last "This solution creates a new and simpler banking experience for Norwegian customers. Many people find it very tedious to change bank or open an account with a new bank. This new solution makes it possible to do this in the blink of an eye, and is just as quick whether you want to open a savings account with a new bank while keeping your main account with your current bank, or whether you want to move everything to a new bank", explains Laila Solheim, who is responsible for the EkstraKonto service at BN Bank.

"This marks an important milestone in Norwegian banking history. Opening an account with a new bank is a very time-consuming process, and although many people would like to change bank only a few actually make the change. This solution makes the process of changing bank much easier, both for customers and for the banks. This in turn will help to encourage greater competition in the Norwegian banking market, and we expect to see an increase in the number of Norwegians changing bank as the new solution comes into use throughout the country", explains Wiljar Nesse at EDB.

There are considerable barriers to changing bank in the Norwegian market. Figures from the Norwegian Financial Services Association show that in 2008 as many as 60% of Norwegian banking customers considered changing bank, but only 6% actually moved to a new bank during the year. BN Bank estimates that around 1/3 of customers who start the process of changing bank do not complete the task.

A new solution from EDB

The new solution that makes it possible to use the existing BankID system to open an account with a new bank has been developed by the IT company EDB. BN Bank is the first bank in the world to use this new solution for its EkstraKonto service. The customer enters personal details on an encrypted web browser form, and the bank then produces a new customer agreement for the customer, who accesses the agreement through his or her BankID display and signs the agreement electronically using a code calculator. The agreement can be stored locally on the customer's computer, and can also be downloaded again in the future if necessary. Once the agreement has been electronically signed, the customer can immediately login to use the Internet banking service.

A change of bank that took days now takes just a few seconds Until now, Norwegian banking customers have faced a very time-consuming process to change their bank, and it has taken several days to open an account with a new bank. Customers have either had to visit a branch of the new bank to sign all the necessary forms before the bank could start the process of setting up a new customer relationship, or they could submit an application over the Internet, receive the agreements to sign in the post and finally make a visit to the post office to collect their pin code card or digital passport. Now all of these formalities take place automatically in just a few seconds thanks to the new electronic solution.

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