KBC now lets you open an Irish current account on your phone

5 May 2016

KBC Bank Ireland has announced that, from now, anyone with its mobile app can create a current account without needing to speak directly to the bank, making it the first bank in Ireland to offer such a service.

The decision by KBC to allow you to open a bank account over your phone is part of the ongoing fintech revolution that is aiming to digitise the entire banking process to reduce its overheads, as well as the typical paperwork that is associated with it.

While not the first bank to introduce a digital-only application process, KBC has become the first bank in Ireland to do so as part of the Belgian bank’s €100m multi-year investment plan for Ireland in its digital channels and banking system, as well as its physical branches.

KBC said that those who download or update the KBC app on iOS and Android will now be able to photograph and upload all their documentation using the camera on their mobile phone or tablet to set up a current account.

Following the lead of fintech start-ups

Once a specific type of current account is selected, the applicant will be asked a number of personal and regulatory questions before being issued an IBAN for their account.

Once the photos of the documents have been uploaded to KBC’s servers, the bank will alert the applicant when the account has been approved and made active.

This attitude to mobile banking follows what many fintech start-ups have already begun, such as Number26, which is now operating as an almost entirely mobile service account provider.

Speaking of this move, Pat Watt, director of Retail Distribution at KBC Bank Ireland, said: “During our research, consumers said that convenience, security and a quality user experience were major priorities when it comes to mobile banking, particularly as the app provides the first point of contact for so many customers.”

Mobile and wallet image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic