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Central Bank of Sri Lanka planning to create blockchain-based KYC platform; Interested companies encouraged to apply

Sri Lanka’s central bank is planning to create a KYC platform for its financial sector and is calling out experienced tech companies to apply for its development, with the application deadline set on Dec. 31.

Image: Scott Edmunds (Flickr)

Tue, 03 Dec 2019, 08:38 am UTC

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has published an open call to blockchain developers to help it create a know-your-customer (KYC) platform proof of concept (POC). The announcement was posted on Nov. 29 at the CBSL’s website.

Blockchain has been heavily disrupting the financial sector and multiple nations – including several superpowers – have been integrating the emerging technology into their respective systems. Sri Lanka is following suit as it recognizes the significance of the innovation and how it can streamline the operations of the financial sector.

“The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) together with experts in Sri Lanka’s Financial and Information Technology (IT) industries, is assessing the possibility of applying Blockchain Technology to streamline Know-Your-Customer (KYC) processes at financial institutions. It is expected that this would facilitate several potential use-cases that will increase efficiencies in the financial sector. It is also expected that it would help increase financial inclusion in Sri Lanka,” the open call read.

The requirements needed

Companies that are interested in applying for the development of the KYC POC must meet several requirements to be considered for the initiative. They should have:

  • 2 years’ operational experience in the industry
  • Prove its expertise in blockchain-based solutions
  • Had previous success in launching mobile apps
  • Is up to date with the latest software development practices

Applicants will have until December 31 to submit their applications, with the announcement of shortlisted companies to be released 15 days after the deadline.

Sri Lanka joins the blockchain revolution

This move is but the latest blockchain project of the Sri Lankan government this year. In July, the poverty-reduction organization Oxfam has partnered with global insurance broker Aon to create a blockchain-based insurance platform for smallholder Sri Lankan farmers. Decentralized insurance platform developer Etherisc is also involved in the collaboration.

The partnership aims to empower farmers and provide them with a reliable insurance product, while simultaneously removing the complications involved in the process. Farmers aren’t generally well-versed in the insurance industry and find it difficult to make claims. Michiel Berende, the Chief Inclusive Officer at Etherisc, highlighted that this partnership will be a driving force of good for the farmers and economy of Sri Lanka.

“Farmers represent a third of the workforce and account for almost 20 percent of the economy, yet very few have insurance. This made Sri Lanka a perfect candidate to feel the benefits of decentralized, collaborative and automated insurance. This alliance is really a cooperation between all and showcases blockchain for social good,” Berende said.

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