Abu Dhabi Global Market achieves KYC breakthrough with blockchain’s help

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the financial centre of the UAE’s capital, has successfully completed trials of a new app for improving Know-Your-Customer (KYC) processes, known as e-KYC.

The app is designed to simplify the know-your-customer obligations incumbent on financial institutions and other regulated bodies under anti-money laundering laws, and was developed with blockchain partners, banks and advisors, including KPMG.

Rather than submitting to individual ID checks and verification, the app enables customers to verify their identity on a one-off basis, recording the information immutably on a blockchain. From there, the information can be accessed securely by other institutions, with a full audit trail to ensure compliance with relevant laws.

According to those participating in the trial, the technology has allows for a “radically simplified” KYC process, which will deliver cost and efficiency savings during the onboarding process.

Richard Teng, CEO of the FSRA of ADGM, welcomed the project, and the “tangible benefits” it delivers for financial institutions in improving the KYC process. He said, “By harnessing the power of technologies such as blockchain, the e-KYC project has demonstrated tangible benefits that may be offered by an e-KYC utility for financial institutions in the UAE. In addition to enhancing KYC checks across the industry, the utility can achieve significant cost efficiencies and financial inclusion driven by unified KYC standards.

According to the executive, “The use of digital platforms to share information, transact and test solutions forms a core part of ADGM’s FinTech strategy. We look forward to delivering further meaningful results through the ADGM Digital Sandbox initiative, where we will facilitate FinTech-institutional partnerships and host consortium projects such as the e-KYC project.”

The platform allows individuals to have more control over their personal data, while simultaneously allowing institutional members access to the KYC material they require to discharge their obligations.

At present, KYC checks are conducted on an institution by institution basis, with the app expected to significantly streamline the process.

It comes at a time when several other regulators and banks are investigating blockchain technology for KYC in a bid to improve the efficiency of the process.

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Australia Post partners with crypto exchanges for KYC checks

Australia Post is working with cryptocurrency exchanges to speed up KYC checks through a new proprietary digital ID service, slashing the time it takes for users to verify their new accounts.

The company, which operates Australia’s domestic ‘snail mail’ network, allows users to verify their identity at crypto platforms in minutes, rather than the days it currently takes for exchanges to manually verify user documentation.

As part of anti-money laundering and know your customer requirements, exchanges are currently required to verify the identity of their users, including requesting specific proof of ID documents. The Australia Post service allows for compliant verification, but in a process that takes minutes, rather than days. Customers can then reuse their verified ID across multiple platforms without the need for double verification.

Dubbed Digital iD, the service solves a key problem for cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia by removing these difficulties in the onboarding process. By registering one time with the service, users are then able to use Digital iD on any platform, avoiding duplicating the verification process and significantly streamlining the account creation process.

Josh Lehman, of crypto platform Digital Surge, said the Digital iD platform was already delivering benefits for their customers, and their business.

Lehman told industry publication Micky, “Digital iD allows us to verify the identity of a prospective Bitcoin buyer in minutes, instead of the days it takes other exchanges. For the first time, an Australian can log on to a computer, punch in their driver’s licence or passport details, and be buying Bitcoin within minutes. We wanted to create an exchange that is safe, simple and quick to use, and Digital iD has enabled us to do that.”

Digital iD General Manager Cameron Gough told the news outlet the technology gives consumers more control over the information they share, saying, “Digital iD, gives people more control over the personal data they share with organisations. For example, most people hand over their driver’s licence to prove they can legally go to a bar, but all that is needed is a name and birth date – not that information plus your full residential address.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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