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BANKING BY VIDEOTELEPHONY? NEW REGULATION FOR IDENTIFYING NEW CLIENTS OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

BANKING BY VIDEOTELEPHONY? NEW REGULATION FOR IDENTIFYING NEW CLIENTS OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

With the development of adequate technology and the acceleration of distance engagement in various sectors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey has been implementing new laws to set the legal infrastructure for actions carried out in distance. In this regard, new regulations on offering banking and financial services remotely via communications devices, such as mobile phones, are introduced by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (“BRSA”).

The Regulation on Remote Identification Methods to be used by Leasing, Factoring, Financing and Savings Financing Companies and the Establishment of Contractual Relationships through Electronic Media (“Regulation”) which will enter into force in February 2022 is a fine example of such efforts. It provides the outline of procedures regarding the establishment of contractual relationships remotely, while utilising technology such as near-field communication (NFC) which we are accustomed to with credit card payments, OTP SMS1, facial recognition and so forth. The Regulation also requires employment of specialised personnel to oversee such transactions by the companies. Provisions concerning the procedure on identification and consent of the client are quite detailed with very specific references to biometric requirements, security items and security protocols. It can be said that the possible risks were taken into consideration to ensure a safe legal basis for secure video calls between client representatives and potential clients, while making the process of remote identification & service providing as accessible as possible.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the regulation is the fact that deep learning and other similar technology2 are being addressed by recent legislation concerning electronic platforms. Whilst being a highly controversial topic, with legislative actions being plotted to define the legal limits of the technology in different jurisdictions (i.e. United Kingdom and California) and debates concerning the scope of General Data Protection Regulation vis-à-vis deepfakes becoming more and more popular, it is still not possible to say that there’s a clear legal approach in Turkey. This Regulation, however, proves that the authorities are becoming more aware about the risks that such technologies pose, and that they might be tackled in the future. Likewise, this Regulation could be the trailblazer in this regard, as we might see further legislative actions to regulate the said technology in the near future.

1One-time password SMS

2For instance, enhanced TTS (text-to-sound) technology which replicates a person’s speech, is becoming more and more common.

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