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Is blockchain the solution to KYC?

Enterprise blockchain software firm, R3, has announced that 14 French corporates have completed a trial of the CordaKYC application built on the Corda blockchain platform and hosted on Microsoft Azure.

 Working closely with the Association Française des Tresoriers d’Enterprise (AFTE), a total of 26 firms participated in the regional trial. French corporates across industries as diverse as department stores, food processing, pharmaceuticals, insurers, investment managers and aerospace, collaborated with 5 French banks to test the CordaKYC solution.

Participants included AFTE, Allianz France Insurance Company, Alten, BNP Paribas, bioMérieux, Crédit Agricole CIB, Daher, Danone, Engie, Natixis, Natixis Assurances, Natixis Investment Managers, Ostrum AM, Pierre et Vacances, RCI Bank and Services, and Societe Generale.

Testing the prototype

Using a Synechron (a digital, business consulting & technology services firm) prototype, corporates were able to simulate KYC requests amongst the group. The banks could request access to KYC test data, and corporates had the ability to approve requests and revoke access. Corporates were also able to update their test data which was then automatically updated for all participants with permission to access it. 

The participants were enthusiastic, as the following comment show:

  • David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, said, “Existing KYC processes are often duplicative and time-consuming, and there has been increasing demand for blockchain-based KYC solutions. However, it is critical that we gather feedback and input from across a variety of participants. Corporates, in particular, have an important role to play in helping the industry evolve and adopt this technology for KYC, and the success of this trial demonstrates the benefits they stand to gain and builds a foundation for regional adoption. Corda is the ideal platform for KYC solutions as it enables users to have full control over their data, safe in the knowledge that it won’t be shared with other parties unless they have given their express permission, and they have the ability to revoke that permission at any time.”
  • Ignacio Sánchez-Miret, Chairman of AFTE Fintech Commission, comments: “The CorDapp trial achieved two goals: firstly to bridge the gap and demystify blockchain for corporates, and secondly to bring together banks, insurers, and corporates to work together at the same level. We cannot stop here - the following weeks will be crucial to determine which applications will be launched together. This is a tough call, but it is clear: collaborate or be left behind.”
  • Gabriel Raffour, Innovation Project manager for Daher explains that “the user experience on the CordaKYC application tested is great and I am not from the finance world. The Blockchain part is so well integrated that it's invisible to the user and that's the first step towards adoption. Keep it simple!”

CTMfile take: So we have another type of KYC solution to add to the huge ones from Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg, how are these going to communicate with each other?

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Bank Relations & KYC
Know Your Customer

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