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Mobile banking Updated: 06 Dec 2016

BBVA Compass pushes bill to bring account-opening into digital age

BBVA Compass’ idea to improve access to banking has been introduced in the House of Representatives in the form of HR 6287, also known as the MOBILE Act.

Uses of the technology

The bill would bring consistency to various state laws that limit a bank’s ability to use an image of a state-issued identification card for the purposes of opening an account via a mobile phone or online.  BBVA Compass and other financial institutions have developed apps to help clients open up accounts without having to visit a branch or office, but there are roadblocks in fully implementing those services, according to BBVA Compass Head of Mobile and Online Channels Alex Carriles.

“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 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.”

There are obstacles on the path to digital transformation, and that includes a handful of specific state laws that prohibit photographing or photocopying a driver’s license or state-issued ID.

When opening an account, the envisioned process would require consumers to take a photograph of their driver’s license or other state-issued identification card, and a photograph of the consumer’s face, so that their identity can be verified electronically. The FDIC concluded in a recent report that mobile banking is best positioned to “meet the day-to-day financial services needs of underbanked consumers as well as consumers at risk of account closure.”

The bill is an effort by BBVA Compass to further its mission to bring the bank’s digital products to everyone.  The proposed law also promotes public safety and protects consumer privacy, while allowing financial institutions of every type to drive their business forward into the digital age, according to Carriles.

Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) sponsored the bill, which he introduced in late September, with Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) as original co-sponsors.  BBVA Compass Director of Government Affairs Josh Denney will be working with members of Congress to reintroduce and advance this legislation when the new Congress convenes in January.

Click here for more information on this bill and other BBVA Compass legislative priorities on the BBVA Compass Voice website.