Israel allows the opening of bank accounts online

Israelis will soon be able to open bank accounts via the Internet instead of having to visit a branch, according to a draft published by the Bank of Israel.

Israelis will soon be able to open bank accounts via the Internet instead of having to visit a branch, according to a draft published by the Bank of Israel.

The reform is one in a series of steps the central bank is taking to increase competition in the country’s banking system.

"Allowing the opening of accounts on the Internet will be a significant step in easing the move from one bank to another, and in increasing the competitive ability of the retail customer, households or small businesses," said David Zaken, banks supervisor at Bank of Israel.

To verify the identity of the applicant, the banks will ask for copies of identifying documents and will request a recorded video interview.

Bank accounts opened online will also have tougher limits than other bank accounts in order to reduce the risk of money laundering and financing terrorism. Cash transactions will be capped at ILS10,000 ($2,894.65) and the account balance will be capped at ILS300,000.

Those restrictions will be lifted once the customer makes an appearance in their branch.

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