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Four Belgian banks including BNP Paribas, ING to share corporate KYC data using blockchain

Thu, 23 Jan 2020, 11:23 am UTC

Four major Belgium-based banks – Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium, and KBC – have signed on to use a blockchain application to streamline Know Your Customer (KYC) process.

The banks have teamed up with the Isabel Group to use KUBE or “Know Your Customer Utility for Banks and Enterprises” – a secure, decentralised database based on blockchain technology.

“KUBE will allow the Belgian financial sector to be the first to use blockchain on a large scale for the identification of businesses,” Isabel Group said in a press release.

Isabel Group said that it is developing KUBE for its own payment activities and on behalf of the four banks. Other banks would be able to join the platform in the future. By using the blockchain application, partnering banks will be able to share corporate data as part of the KYC process, which will help streamline the verification and maintenance of corporate identities for businesses and banks.

Jean de Crane, CEO of Isabel Group, said that the development of KUBE is an “essential measure” to combat fraud, money-laundering, and other illegal financial activities.

“The banks will not only use this data source to help prevent criminal activity, but the identification process and the maintenance of their data will also be more efficient for customers,” Crane added.

To prevent illicit actors from doing business with financial institutions, the European Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AML) requires verification of business customers. However, the process is time-consuming for banks and their customers as it is currently carried out for each bank individually.

KUBE will help address this challenge by allowing banks to share business identity information. Customers will need to enter their data on the platform only once, which will be then verified and validated by the bank and shared securely with member organisations. Now, if a business wants to open an account with another bank, this bank will be able to complete the KYC process faster as the KYC data is already available.

“Besides, it also allows for sharing any amendments to the corporate data so that the member banks always have the most recent data available,” the release said.

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