IBM has announced a Blockchain project that would help banks address the need to prove the identity of a person or organization, source of funds, business interests, history and also monitor for changes.

The Know Your Customer (KYC) is a global anti-money laundering measure that enables banks and financial institutions to understand their customers and their financial dealings, to be able to serve them better and manage its risks prudently. However, compliance with these regulations measures has been a global challenge.

At the Singapore FinTech Festival, IBM announced its partnership with Singapore FinTech startup KYCK! to provide KYC projects that use IBM Blockchain, to help reduce the time and expense financial services providers require to more rapidly on-board their customers in a secure environment.

Alan Lim, Practice Lead, IBM Blockchain & Bluemix Garage, ASEAN, says:

“Since we launched an IBM Bluemix Garage focused on Blockchain in Singapore this year, we have seen more and more startups and entrepreneurs come through our doors with a curiosity and passion for how they can apply Blockchain as a competitive differentiator.”

How it works

Co-founded by three Singaporeans to provide users with information pertaining to the Southeast Asian Exchanges and access to brokerage demo accounts with easy on-boarding opportunities, KYCK! will provide brokerages a platform with video conferencing and encrypted document submission capabilities for the secure on-boarding of new customers.

It will work with the IBM Bluemix Garage in Singapore to design and test the new solution to be built on the Hyperledger Fabric, which enables the immutability, traceability and privacy of information to be provided on a permissioned distributed ledger.

"We were fortunate to have found a partner in IBM with the right capabilities to enable us to apply our financial industry know-how and bring our ideas to life. Working with the IBM Bluemix Garage, we have seen how Blockchain can improve operational efficiency, increase transparency and reduce transaction risks. We hope that financial institutions will see an improvement in their current customer on-boarding processes and the overall customer experience," said Darryl Tan, Co-Founder of KYCK!.

The platform will also provide enhanced identification validation through a trusted Blockchain based business network that will potentially include banking and governmental entities. Once identity verification is confirmed, KYCK! will enter the customer's information into current bank-based checks or third-party KYCK! systems before account on-boarding.

IBM and Blockchain

IBM, which has been in the IT business for over 100 years, has been working on one of the largest implementations of Blockchain in the commercial sphere. Aside from the Singapore Bluemix Garage, IBM has eight other Bluemix Garages globally which serve as hubs for developers, product managers and designers to design and develop successful applications on Bluemix. Blockchain is one of more than 150 advanced services and APIs available to developers on Bluemix.

The launch of the new project with KYCK! is coming after the tech giant recently announced the development of its independent Blockchain network that is capable of operating on smart contracts for the world’s leading financial institutions and businesses, and the release of its report that suggests the technology will be implemented by 15 percent of big banks by 2017.