How AIB and IDnow created an outstanding onboarding experience

  • Case Studies
  • 12.01.2021 08:33 am
  • AIB – a long-established financial services group with a robust digital offering

About AIB

Allied Irish Banks (AIB) is a financial services group founded in 1966 following the amalgamation of three long established banks – the Munster and Leinster Bank Limited, the Provincial Bank of Ireland Limited and the Royal Bank of Ireland Limited. Headquartered in Dublin and with 9,400 employees, it provides a range of services to retail, business and corporate customers, with market-leading positions in key segments.

With over 2.8 million customers, AIB operates predominantly in Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as the US.

During the first half of 2020, the group introduced a range of support services for its customers impacted by COVID-19 and funded the COVID-19 Research Hub to help meet the challenges ahead.


With over 1.5 million digitally-active customers and an increasing percentage of product sales being carried out on its online platforms, AIB was keen to build a modern, resilient and flexible IT infrastructure. 

Historically, with no remote onboarding capability, all new customers were required to visit an AIB branch to complete the account opening process, including identification and verification. While the group had an online account opening facility, this was for existing customers only, so in order to service new customers, the verification of ‘new to bank’ customers could only be done through a face-to-face interaction in one of its branches.

AIB recognised that potential customers, particularly in the younger demographic, had an expectation that they could open a bank account remotely, and in order to compete, AIB needed to meet that expectation to ensure it didn’t potentially lose out on new customers.

The overall objective for AIB was to restore and retain its share of the current account market in Ireland, and the development of a Remote Account Opening capability was identified as a key strategy in delivering this.

The group was also keen to refocus branch staff’s time towards engaging with customers who needed face-to-face interaction, rather than with those who were reluctantly in branch in the absence of a digital offering.

Remote Account Opening was an entirely new proposition for AIB so it was looking for a partner with knowledge of the digital identification industry that could work with it to develop this offering.

After considering a number ofpotential partners, AIB selected IDnow as its preferred partner for the identification element of its new Remote Account Opening proposition in December 2016. IDnow was selected for several reasons:

  • Its knowledge and expertise of the digital identification business
  • Its flexibility in adapting to meet AIB’s requirements
  • Its desire to be AIB’s partner, rather than a vendor

The Solution

Together with IDnow, AIB designed and built the Remote Account Opening proposition and obtained regulatory approval before launching to the public in February 2018.

During the process of signing up for a bank account, the customer is obliged to identify and legitimate themselves according to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements.

For compliance reasons, it was decided that the identification and verification would be completed using a video call in order to retain the face-to-face interaction.

It was also decided that the Remote Account Opening process would be built on the existing AIB mobile banking app with the IDnow app integrated into the process to provide a seamless customer experience.

This allows the customer to simply downloadthe AIB app, enter some personal information to determine eligibility before being connected to anIDnow agent by video without ever having to leave the AIB app.  The customer will receive a unique identification number which is needed to start the identification and verification process.

Given the outcome of the verification is available in real-time, the customer can seamlessly complete the application process on the AIB app.  If the digital onboarding process is successfully completed, within minutes the bank account is set up and the customer is registered for Internet Banking.  And as the customer has already downloaded the AIB app, they can instantly view their new account details.

AIB’s digital strategy is being accelerated to further focus on the financing needs of its business customers and bring them in line with those available to personal customers.


Since launching its Remote Account Opening proposition, AIB reports that 40% of all eligible new customer accounts are now opened remotely using IDnow agents to complete the identification process, and this continues to grow.

Substantial efficiencies have been achieved in both its frontline branches and its back-office operations involved in customer onboarding.  Considering every account opened takes an average of 30 minutes of staff time across customer engagement and back office processing, this amounts to a significant time saving.

“IDnow has enabled us to quickly, yet securely, transform our onboarding process in line with customer expectations. Their specialist knowledge, technology and market experience, coupled with a close collaboration, has delivered real value to our customers and streamlined our processing,” explains Sean Jevens, Head of Digital Customer and Staff Engagement.

Thanks to AIB’s investment in technology, the bank now has a modern and agile digital infrastructure, making it the largest and most digitally-enabled provider within the Irish banking market. This has been a critical element in assisting the delivery of its digital banking services whilst also enabling over 80% of its staff to work remotely during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

AIB’s digital transformation has allowed it to remain open for business through all channels, both physical and digital.

COVID-19 has further highlighted its customers’ willingness to adopt digital technology – there has been a notable decline in the use of cash with a 38% reduction in volume of ATM withdrawals and a 66% increase in the uptake of Digital Wallet payments in the first six months of the year when compared to the half-year to June 2019. As such, continuous enhancement of its digital offering remains a priority.

IDnow Website

Other Case Studies