Right hand - left hand

On the one hand, increasingly, we are required to provide “proof” of our identity in this electronic world. We are asked to scan in our “identity card”, which, in my case, as someone from the UK means my passport.
The latest such request comes from Transferwise, who have gone a stage further and require me to produce a “mug shot” of myself with my ID in the same image.
On the other hand, the UK govt has done its hardest to make the ID page of my passport as unreproducible as possible and prevent fraud by making it highly glossy with all sorts of holograms and vague images (including my very washed out photo) built in.
End result - my mugshot for Transferwise is me with a floaty, translucent, out of focus shadow of passport page alongside.
Well that went well!

1 Like

A lot of them you’ll find now make you take a number of photos for this reason. N26 had me contorting my passport like I was doing the Hokey Cokey, left side up, topside down, shake it all about (almost!) so they could see both the photo and the holograms which indicate its genuine. I think the likes of bunq, Revolut, Monzo and starling all have similar comedy dance routines so their online verification systems can work properly, many then insist you take a live video saying a specific phrase so they know you’re really there and not on prerecorded video :see_no_evil::joy:

I can sort-of understand why they do this but it inures people to the idea that “scan passport+photo” is normal which makes scammers more likely to get people to agree to do that.

1 Like

Will tranferwise not accept another form of picture ID? I don’t remember having an issue signing up with them last year. Very impressive service BTW. Transfers in seconds.

1 Like

I agree about their service John, normally excellent. Never dealt with this before. This is something new. I’m far from thrilled and had a grumpy complaint to someone on their helpline who was absolutely charming, who told me “it is becoming more common”. OH wondered whether this tightening of security is yet another fallout from Brexit as in the immediate future at least the cross-border security forces have warned they won’t be sharing information. Can’t believe that will last for long.
I have yet to resolve it as I think it will need my proper camera + tripod to do it effectively. Transferwise have at least given me an email link to upload the photo.

1 Like

It seems to have got much faster - I “topped up” the French account the other day and it indeed took only a few minutes.

I’m not hoping to gain from moving £ → € so much as ensure I have a good buffer for costs associated with the French house, and if the £ drops a lot it is likely that exchange controls might be applied.

As far as I understand it, the tightening is just the financial institutions way of delivering on the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive as part of the due diligence efforts that they have to be seen to be enforcing. It seems pretty much all of the financial institutions request information in this manner when you setup an account. I have recently been asked to reverify myself with Western Union despite being a business customer with them for several years now, and similarly there was a bit of a rigmarole to go through with some other transfer FX platform I’ve recently signed up to, for which I am still waiting for the ID verification app thingummajig.

Good grief, back to the seventies. I remember having the my passport stamped with my meagre holiday fund.

I don’t think it likely, but not impossible if enough capital takes flight.