Traditional “Know Your Client” ( KYC) on-boarding process in financial services are often associated with long hours spent on eyeball checking a list of prerequisites and documents with constant email communications with the clients. Recently, there are many (RegTech) in the start-ups space which focus on automating these tedious tasks. For a second year running, SuperCharger, which aims to help the most promising start-ups and scale-ups grow in Asia, has about 200+ applications from 33 countries from which 8 finalists were selected at the launch of the Hong Kong FinTech Week of Jan 9th, 2016. The one that has caught my eyes was KYC-Chain.
KYC-Chain is amongst the Fintech that has incorporated the blockchain technology into its application and to potentially streamline the user verifications processes in financial services. KYC-Chain basically uses biometrics, and distributed ledger technology and other emerging technologies to provide consensus on identity. A distributed ledger is basically a consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data geographically spread across multiple sites, countries or institutions. There is no central administrator or centralized data storage. Distributed ledger technology also provides a reliable source of truth for identity and related events and ensure a level of transparency while keeping majority of information private from the public. KYC-Chain intend to enable efficiencies on a worldwide basis while complying with domestic laws and consumer protection privacy policies. One of the purposes of KYC-Chain is to build trust, cut costs, increase controls and stimulate financial inclusion in a revolutionary way.
Some of the key differentiators of KYC-Chain from the traditional kind of KYC on-boarding processes:
- Automatic Onboarding: Seamless end-to-end fully digital client onboarding
- Self Sovereign Identity – Consumers and businesses/financial services (clients) control access to identity, and bring trust to their digital identity with attestations
- Secured and Authenticated Identity: financial services and other providers can be secured in the knowledge they are working with 3rd party attestations via banks, notaries and via External Data feeds (confirmed fraud, consortium and public data, OFAC/AML/PEP and KBA questions)
- Document Capture And Authentication: capture and verify identity documents and keys, utility bills and address verification, tax documents
This platform allows secure and compliant data sharing to potentially satisfy compliance requirements for KYC on-boarding or refresh without compromising the privacy of the owners while preserving the integrity of the data. These secure mechanisms with strong cryptographic protocols along with smart verification procedures also allow end users with the ability to be the sole owners of their identity data.
SuperCharger event has drawn a lot of interests from the press, media, financial institutions, start-ups and investors in the region and the crowd was vibrant and approachable throughout the event and highlighted all the Fintech trends and companies, it is an event to watch out for next year as well.