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New ID verification system in Korea to allow foreigners to open bank accounts online

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A bank branch in Seoul [NEWS1]
A bank branch in Seoul [NEWS1]

Foreigners will be able to open bank accounts online at more banks with the Ministry of Justice’s new residence card verification system.

Jeonbuk Bank, Hana Bank and Toss Bank will use the Justice Ministry’s residence card verification system starting Monday to verify foreigners’ identity for online banking tasks.

When foreign customers upload a photo of their residence card to the banks’ website or application, the information in the picture, such as name, photo and resident registration number, will be sent to the Justice Ministry’s database. The system will then verify the authenticity of the ID based on the information.

Previously, foreigners had to visit banks in person to open bank accounts because most banks only accepted resident registration cards for Korean nationals and driver’s licenses for online and mobile banking identity verification.

Hana Bank and Toss Bank were the only two exceptions, with their own verification systems. However, the two will now use the government’s residence card verification system.

Although only three banks will implement the government verification system for online banking as of now, the Justice Ministry plans to add more banks and financial institutions to the list.

“To attract talented individuals, it’s important to match our living conditions to global standards, and implementing the residence card verification system is also part of those efforts,” Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon said. “We hope it will help solve banking-related inconveniences for foreigners.”

With more companies using residence cards for online ID verification, starting Sept. 1, the Justice Ministry has been allowing foreigners to report theft or loss of residence cards online via the HiKorea website.

BY LEE TAE-HEE [lee.taehee2@joongang.co.kr]