The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued guidelines Thursday on digital certification, the process used to verify the identity of people on-line.

The agency warned that federal law does not recognize digital certifications as the equivalent of a handwritten signature, though some states do honor them.

Banks risk lawsuits and the loss of the business if they incorrectly certify a customer's identity, the agency warned. Strong internal procedures are required to ensure these errors do not occur, the OCC said.

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