IBM (NYSE) announced the successful completion of the Phase I proof-of-concept (POC) of its Shared Corporate Know Your Customer (KYC) project with Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and the Treasuries of Cargill, IBM. Through the Shared KYC POC, IBM successfully demonstrated how the Blockchain-based IBM Shared KYC platform provides a secure, decentralized and efficient mechanism for banks to collect, validate, store, share, and refresh trusted KYC information of corporate customers.
Through this collaboration, IBM has established client provisioned and consented sharing of KYC information and securing documents with encryption. Network trust is established through digitally verified documents on the Blockchain and the underlying consensus protocols. The overall objectives of the Shared KYC project, of which the technology-focused POC was the first phase, are to:
- Define harmonized standards for the collection and validation of certain core documents and information agreeable to all bank participants;
- Eliminate repetition of mundane documentary tasks through collaboration and privacy-preserving sharing while shifting focus of human intervention to the higher-value tasks of risk evaluation and decision making;
- Create a sharing economy environment (where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts) that is an inclusive ecosystem open to all banks, corporate customers, third party service providers, and regulators;
- Digitize all corporate KYC information to preserve authenticity and accuracy, and provide greater flexibility for query and analysis of the data; and
- Increase transparency and trust through technology with up-to-date shared standards improving collective knowledge of AML risk and double-blind privacy model ensuring client confidentiality.
Blockchain provides a safe, secure, and scalable infrastructure to support the sharing of common KYC information providing benefits to all network participants – banks, corporates, service providers and regulators. This initiative aligns with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s vision to drive innovation in modernizing Singapore’s Finance Infrastructure, and at the same time, enhances transparency into KYC processes performed by Banks. Banks will be able to use such a platform to enhance the customer experience, automate mandatory processes and eliminate duplication through harmonizing and sharing KYC information resulting in operational savings and, over time, reduced operational risk. The corporates also benefit from reduced paperwork by doing KYC once and sharing it with relevant financial institutions through a user-controlled consent model.
The governance of the shared KYC network will include regular certification of contributing banks to assess their compliance with the harmonized standards and provide transparency and confidence to the wider group of participating banks.
With the fast-paced growth of Banking and Finance in Singapore, the current process, which is manual, repetitive, inefficient and expensive, will not be able to keep up. Shared KYC aims to harmonize standards across banks with a focus on digitization of documentation, and multiple levels of information validation and augmentation, ensuring security and privacy for the platform participants.