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KYC trial using blockchain gets underway

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SBI Holdings and NEC have jointly embarked on what they believe to be the industry’s first demonstration trial of Know Your Customer (KYC) operations infrastructure equipped with blockchain technology.
The trial is in co-operation with 14 financial institutions and capitalises on the initiative “Proof of Concept Testing for utilization of Blockchain/DLT (distributed ledger technology) in Capital Market Infrastructure” project conducted by the Japan Exchange Group.
The demonstration trial is intended to increase convenience for customers at the time of opening accounts at securities companies and to streamline the operations of securities companies by sharing KYC information quickly and securely among other securities companies through the use of the blockchain technology, which is characterised by its reduced susceptibility to data falsification and loss.
With the use of open source blockchain platforms, namely Hyperledger Fabric and Corda, SBI Holdings, SBI BITS and NEC will develop an application that allows securities companies to share KYC data and implement it on the cloud as KYC operational infrastructure.
In response to the 2014 statement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on measures against international money laundering and terrorist financing, Japan requires domestic financial institutions to carry out identity checks and to keep records on them in the event of an account being opened. Anticipating tougher regulations in the future, financial institutions are required to steadily take action to comply with laws and systems.
To offer a solution to this challenge, SBI Holdings, SBI BITS and NEC will verify and evaluate the effect of introducing blockchain technology to KYC operations in cooperation with financial institutions that are participating in this trial. The three companies aim to offer secure, reassuring and functional KYC operations infrastructure.
In view of the knowledge learned from the demonstration trial, SBI Holdings, SBI BITS and NEC will subsequently strive to commercialise KYC operations infrastructure, making it available to a wide range of financial institutions, helping to enhance customer service and develop financial services markets.
“As a pioneering fintech company, the SBI Group will take advantage of its knowledge in the online finance businesses in order to further increase investments in the fintech area and to introduce cutting-edge fintech solutions to the Group’s Financial Services Business,” says Mamoru Fujimoto, executive officer of SBI Holdings.
“Dedicated to social value creation, NEC will globally accelerate innovations based on blockchain, AI, IoT, security and other advanced technologies by working together with many different companies and research institutions, thereby contributing to the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society,” says Daichi Iwata, head of the fintech business development office at NEC.
“NEC has been leading academic research on blockchain security since the beginning of Bitcoin. We believe that our expertise and knowledge will help the demonstration trial to succeed and to accelerate commercialization of KYC operations infrastructure utilising blockchain technology.”