Belgium’s four major banks, Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium and KBC, will now use a blockchain to simplify their customer services, the Isabel Group announced on Wednesday.
The four will use the Kube application, which will allow them to share businesses’ data between them and thus facilitate the verification and maintenance of the businesses’ identities, according to the Isabel Group, a provider of financial services.
This is a first in Europe, according to the main parties concerned, which have signed a draft agreement to this effect.
The blockchain – a digital ledger for recording information and transactions as well as tracking assets that is shared by a cluster of organisations – will make it easier for the participating institutions to meet a key requirement in the fight against money laundering and other illicit transactions: identity verification.
In order to avoid money laundering and fraud, banks are required to verify, on a regular basis, the identities of the leaders and main shareholders of a company when it opens an account with them.
This is a time-consuming process that is done individually by each bank and needs to be repeated frequently. The participating banking institutions will now be able to save time by sharing identification data via the Kube app.
A client will only need to input their data once on the platform, after which it will be verified and validated by the bank. The information will then be shared in a secure manner between the participating institutions, which will enable businesses to open accounts without red tape or delays.
Any modifications of businesses’ data will also be shared between the banks so that they can all have the most up-to-date information.
The Belgian financial sector is the first in Europe to share such a secure, decentralised database using blockchain technology for identifying companies.
In addition to the Big 4, other banks will be able to join the platform in future, the Isabel Group said.
The Brussels Times