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HSBC, StanChart in Sri Lankan blockchain trial for shared KYC

kyc know your customer

Yesterday the Central Bank of Sri Lanka announced it completed a blockchain proof of concept (PoC) with ten banks to share know-your-customer KYC data. The trial finished in June, and we first reported it planned the PoC almost two years ago.

The experiment aimed to improve the customer experience. So if a consumer goes to another bank, they don’t have to repeat the process. But it also helps to reduce operational costs for banks. The central bank believes a user-friendly process encourages consumers to adopt digital financial services, increasing financial inclusion.

The ten banks involved in the PoC were Amana Bank, Bank of Ceylon, Cargills Bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, DFCC Bank, Hatton National Bank, HSBC, National Development Bank, People’s Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Sri Lanka’s trial involved three suppliers, one of which is Sweden’s Norbloc, the company involved in the launch of the UAE’s shared KYC platform last year. HSBC, one of the banks in the Sri Lankan trial, is also a participant in the UAE platform.

Other organizations that helped in the Sri Lankan platform development were Sampath Bank which partnered with the University of Colombo School of Computing, and Yaala Labs jointly with Linearsix.

While the PoC was successful, the central bank did not confirm whether or not the project would proceed into production. However, it said it is an “important step in Sri Lanka’s journey towards digitalization of financial services.” 

When the UAE announced plans for its KYC platform, we took a deeper dive into some of the issues, such as the risks for a bank if it relies on faulty KYC data.

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