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HKMA encourages remote onboarding

Chris Hamblin, Editor, London, 18 June 2021


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority would like private banks in its jurisdiction to use iAM Smart, an initiative that began in December at the behest of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer as one of the main infrastructural projects announced in a policy address in 2017.

iAM Smart "provides all Hong Kong residents with a single digital identity and authentication to conduct government and commercial transactions online" and, the Government hopes, will be useful to banks as well.

The HKMA is telling the regulated community that the rules that pertain to the verification of identities in its "Guideline on Anti-Money-Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism" are flexible enough to allow authorised institutions to 'onboard' customers remotely. It says that this guideline, in turn, is in line with the Financial Action Task Force's famous 40 Recommendations and the "Guidance on Digital Identity" that the standard setter published in March last year.

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