Instant credit for the self-employed: Online legitimation guarantees quick payment

Self-employed people who need an instant loan should make sure that they only choose a loan that allows online legitimation. The alternative would be the time-consuming Postident procedure, which in the worst case can even rule out lending to the self-employed. Legitimacy towards the donor cannot be avoided entirely.

Legitimation required for online loans

There are two places in German law that require borrowers to identify themselves when applying for a loan. A “legitimacy and identity check” must take place according to § 154 of the Tax Code (AO). This standard is a relatively old paragraph that was written well before the Internet. At that time, the legislature still assumed that the identity check was always carried out in the bank branch.

In the era of online loans, this is not always the case. For this reason, it was stipulated in Section 1 of the Money Laundering Act that this check can also be carried out using the Postident procedure or a comparable procedure. Borrowers must personally identify themselves with their ID at a state-recognized agency. You may not be represented or submit a scan of your ID document. Recognized documents are identity cards, passports and driving licenses. Preliminary versions of these documents are also sufficient. It is imperative that a photo is on the ID card. This law is designed to prevent anonymous money laundering and identity theft.

Problem with instant loans for the self-employed

For self-employed people, the Postident procedure is a problem for three reasons:

  1. The working hours of the self-employed overlap with the opening times of the branches. You cannot use the Postident procedure at all
  2. With many instant loans, there is a requirement that legitimization must take place promptly. This is often incompatible with the scope of the self-employed
  3. Some banks offer the Postident procedure free of charge. In this case, you bear the legitimization fees. However, this is not standard. The loan can therefore become more expensive

In order to alleviate at least the first two problems, Swiss Post has introduced two new systems, but they only help the self-employed to a limited extent. Firstly, legitimation using the postident procedure can now also be carried out online. Secondly, this can also be done by the postman who comes to the workplace, for example. However, both variants cause additional costs and must be scheduled. The timing problem can therefore reappear.

An online legitimation from the donor as a solution for the self-employed

They offer self-employed (and also employees) online authentication via webcam chat, which can be carried out at a flexible date. The service provider acts on behalf of the donors. Legally, legitimation takes place directly at the lender. Section 154 AO is thus satisfied.

For example, the Best Bank explains the exact procedure on its information page on the subject of instant credit. Online authentication takes place, for example, via Skype. The ID is shown on the webcam or smartphone cam. The resolution of the device must be high enough so that the employee can easily recognize all data. Once this is done, the borrower receives a TAN by email or SMS, which he has to enter online. In some cases, an ID card scan is also requested. The legitimation is now complete. The entire process takes only a few minutes and can be carried out directly from the workplace, for example. The self-employed do not get under pressure of deadlines. In this form, online legitimation is generally free of charge.

The documents can often also be submitted online

The self-employed generally have to submit significantly more loan documents for an instant loan than ordinary employees. Standard are the last three income tax assessments, a documented current business analysis (BWA) or an income surplus calculation (EÜR) as well as the account statements of the last three to six months. The great advantage of the Postident procedure is that these documents are submitted in the same breath as the legitimation. They are submitted in a sealed envelope to ensure discretion.