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FMA enables online customer identification

Release Date: |

The FMA Regulation on video-based online identification of customers enters into force tomorrow (3 January 2017). As a result Austrian financial market participants, such as banks, insurance undertakings and investment firms are permitted to used “video-based identification” in order to determine the identity of customers and to check their legitimacy. Based on the recently passed Financial Markets Anti-Money Laundering Act (FM-GwG; Finanzmarkt-Geldwäschegesetz), the FMA defines in the Online Identification Regulation (Online-IDV; Online-Identifikationsverordnung) the protective measures to be taken to reduce the risks that result for the determination and checking of the identity of customers arising from the customer’s physical absence.

The following conditions apply for video-based identification in accordance with the Online Identification Regulation:

  • The obliged entity shall make screenshots of the potential customer and of their official photo identification document.
  • The potential customer shall be required to tilt their official photo identification document in front of the camera in such a way both horizontally and vertically, to allow the holographic security features to be checked by specially trained employees.
  • The employee shall also check the serial number of the document and that it has not been tampered with for the official photo identification document being presented to the camera.
  • Online identification is to be conducted by the obliged entity in a separate room equipped with an access control system.
  • The procedure should be terminated, if visual checking of the potential customer or the official photo identification document is not possible, or where other grounds for uncertainty arise.

The Online Identification Regulation allows the FMA to address the increased digitalisation of the financial sector as well as the wish of the customer to be able to initiate new business relationships online, while also ensuring the legal necessity of being able to indisputably verify the identity of customers.


Journalists may address further enquiries to:

Mr. Tiemon Kiesenhofer, MBA
+43/(0)676/882 49 610