Metro Bank has today opened current account applications to the whole of the UK and will allow customers to prove their identity by uploading a selfie.

Metro Bank is using 'digital account opening' for its online applications, which will extend its services nationwide and mean customers no longer have to visit a branch to open an account.

The bank has 55 branches, mostly in South East England and London. It differentiates itself from traditional high street banks by offering extended opening hours, instant debit card printing and pet-friendly branches – though of course these are only useful to those living near a branch.

Those applying online will be sent their card by first-class post, normally arriving within two working days. Metro Bank also offers a 24/7 customer service line (similar to some other banks).

How does the account stack up?

The Metro Bank current account has no non-sterling transaction fees or cash withdrawal fees when you use your card in Europe, so it's a decent card to use on European trips. Yet if you want a card for overseas use, Starling Bank offers the same deal but worldwide. See our Travel Credit Cards guide for more.

However, if you aren't interested in taking Metro Bank's debit card abroad, its account offers little else in terms of perks.

Those thinking of ditching their bank account can currently get up to £200 to switch to HSBC, or £125 to switch to First Direct with top customer service. Alternatively, a handful of current accounts also pay in-credit interest – such as Nationwide's FlexDirect account paying 5% AER fixed for a year on up to £2,500.

For full information, see our Best Bank Accounts guide.

What is 'digital account opening'?

'Selfie digital account opening' means new Metro Bank customers can open an account by sending a 'selfie' of themselves along with proof of identification – such as a photo of a driving licence or passport – when applying online. Metro Bank claims the process takes as little as 10 minutes.

While still a relatively new concept, Metro Bank isn't the first to use the technology. Others such as Bank of Scotland and Starling Bank already have it in place.