Security, speed and convenience at the heart of TSB’s new customer onboarding journey

Security, speed and convenience at the heart of TSB’s new customer onboarding journey

To meet rising demand for digital services, TSB has launched a cutting-edge, streamlined onboarding journey for new customers. With the help of biometric technology from Onfido providing a secure and seamless verification process, customers can now open accounts and access mobile banking in just 10 minutes. Paul Davis, Director of Fraud Prevention at TSB Bank, tells us more.

As demand for digital services continues to surge, TSB has launched a new customer onboarding journey through the TSB Mobile Banking App, which will enable people to access a Spend & Save current account in just 10 minutes.

At the heart of the new onboarding journey are security, speed and convenience for customers. The launch follows a dramatic shift towards digital banking – as customer behaviour continues to evolve.

Currently, 90% of TSB’s servicing transactions and 75% of its sales are conducted digitally. Additionally, 80% of new customer signups at TSB happen via a mobile device as increasing numbers of customers bank digitally.

Most secure and seamless journey to date

TSB has partnered with Onfido, a global identity verification and authentication provider, so that TSB customers can sign up for a Spend and Save account simply by taking a photo of their identity document (ID) and a short video of their face.

Onfido’s award-winning technology first checks that the ID is genuine and then matches it to the user’s face using biometric technology. This ensures the ID is not fraudulent and that the person presenting the identity is its legitimate owner and is physically present – making it the most secure journey to date.

Customers can then start their digital journey anywhere, anytime and gain access to all the benefits of the Spend & Save account. The account is underpinned by TSB’s award-winning Fraud Refund Guarantee offering customers market-leading fraud protections.

New customers also benefit from a branch network with 220 TSB branches across the UK – as TSB combines cutting-edge technology and a digital focus with its high-street presence. 


TSB worked with the Royal National Institute for the Blind to ensure greater accessibility features were at the heart of the design. As such, the new digital journey meets AA standards.

We caught up withTSB’s Director of Fraud Prevention, Paul Davis, to find out more about the organisation’s work with Onfido and how this has enabled it to technologically evolve and innovate. 

How did the rising demand for digital services result in the launch of a cutting-edge, streamlined onboarding journey for new customers?

The way in which TSB onboards new customers is critical to our customer experience. That’s the first impression that our customers have of the bank so it’s essential that customers have a seamless and frictionless way to open their accounts, particularly personal current accounts which is our flagship product. At the same time, we’re exposed to a number of risks and threats in relation to our account opening and therefore it’s essential we have a channel that isn’t just easy to use and frictionless for customers, but has robust security checks along the way so that we can be sure who we’re doing business with and who we’re opening accounts for. We also need to be mindful of identity theft, which is a serious crime within the UK and ensuring that we don’t allow anyone to impersonate a genuine person and open an account at TSB Bank.

How do you ensure security, speed and convenience remain at the heart of what you do and how important is this?

Finding that balance is what my job is all about and that’s why we’re proud to partner with firms like Onfido who give us the capability to detect and prevent fraud and financial crime in ways which are effective, efficient and highly accurate. By using their tools, we’re able to properly risk assess all of the account applications we receive in order for us to hone in on those that may present a high risk of fraud or financial crime to the bank.

Can you outline some of the cybersecurity implications of digital banking and how you manage this effectively with the help of Onfido?

The digital banking revolution in the UK has been phenomenal with a marked and rapid shift to digital banking in recent years. We’ve seen UK consumers take up digital services with their banks at a phenomenal rate and TSB has been no different. For many of our customers, interacting with us via online channels is how they exclusively perform their banking. Channels like branches and telephone banking are still really important and are crucial for certain segments of our customer base. For many of our customers the way they choose to interact with us is through our mobile banking app or through our online banking. However, that has created a number of security challenges for us because in particular, customer verification and identity validation is something we need to ensure is as robust in that digital world as it would be if a customer is walking into our branch. It’s an area where we’ve seen criminals innovate almost as quickly as banks have and for us it’s about keeping ahead of criminals as they evolve their approaches to try and compromise the security of those channels.

How does biometric technology play a part in ensuring your customers experience the most secure journey?

Biometrics is an essential part of our customer verification procedure and gone are the days where we can rely solely on the likes of passwords and usernames to verify who we’re dealing with. We employ biometric detection in our online banking services in order to verify that we’re interacting with the genuine customer. We partnered with a number of third-party companies to deploy that technology and what it’s doing is looking at the type of device being used, how it’s being held, how the customer’s interacting with it, such as the speed at which they type, the hand they’re using, the profile, whether they’re walking at the time, their location and hundreds of other factors that I haven’t even mentioned. All of these criteria are used to build a profile of the person using that device and we can then match it against what we’ve seen previously for that customer. We use that as a verification tool and we also use it to help our risk assessment when those customers then go on to make payments, which is the key point of risk for us in respect of our existing customers. We’ll use that to determine whether we want to pause those payments for further checks based on the behavioural profile of the usage up until that point.

What are some of the key initiatives you include in your business strategy for preparing against fraudulent attacks?  

We’ve got several initiatives underway around ensuring that we use the latest technology to spot and stop scams and the key thing for us is that that applies end-to-end in the customer life cycle. So let’s not just wait until the point where customers are moving money for us to intervene. We’re looking at how we can deploy new technology into our account opening and customer onboarding journeys. We’re also looking at how customers log on in the most efficient, effective way to detect fraud and we’re also spending a lot of time focusing on our card fraud verification tools. That’s an area that’s changed massively this year with new strong customer authentication regulations coming in and making sure that the processes we’ve got to verify card payments find that right balance between security and ease of use. And then it’s also about having the latest technology to risk assess all of those payments that customers are making so we can pick out from all of them those that are high risk where we may need to make further checks.

What overall business benefits has Onfido provided during the process and how do you plan to keep working together to remain cybersecure?

Onfido has enabled us to deliver a cutting-edge, streamlined onboarding journey for new customers. Our journey for new customers to open a personal current account is now one that takes around 10 minutes which benchmarks it in an industry leading way. We’ve only been able to achieve that thanks to the technology that we get by partnering with Onfidoto give us the verification and the validation that we’re dealing with a genuine individual and that we can verify their identity. Without that capability with Onfidothen we’d still have to rely on much less efficient, much less effective tools to detect high-risk customer applications.

How will you continue on your Digital Transformation journey with security top of mind, to offer your customers the best experience in digital and traditional banking?

Fraud risk management is a job which is never done and it’s an area where we need to continue to invest. Technology is moving forward at pace and the activity of criminals is doing the same. For us, it’s about continuing to invest in our controls so that we’re able to keep up to date with the techniques used by criminals but also to continue to find ways to help our genuine customers bank with us in the most simple and friction-free way they can.

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue

Intelligent CISO

View Magazine Archive